If there's anything you learn in life, let it be that you should always be able to back yourself up like, say, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) can. Take Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's comments on the 2020 census citizenship question, for example. While speaking during a congressional appearance involving Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, she brought out a trove of documents to help build her case against him in a moment that will have you taking notes.
On Thursday, March 14, Ross appeared before the House Oversight and Reform Committee to field questions over his approval of a citizenship question on the 2020 census. Critics have said the question is a deliberate effort to undercount certain populations like immigrants, which would affect states' official population count in census records, and thus affect the number of representatives the state is allotted in Congress and the amount of federal funding they are given. Ross, meanwhile, says that the new question would provide better enforcement of the Voting Rights Act.
According to Yahoo, he faced more than six hours of questioning, but the real challenge came when it was Ocasio-Cortez's time to quiz him. She drove home a point Democrats have long been making about Ross' decision to approve the question, saying that rather than consulting with U.S. Census Bureau experts about adding the question, he apparently followed the advice of voter-suppression specialists in favor of President Donald Trump.
"It’s all there in black and white," Ocasio-Cortez said of a July 2017 email to Ross from Kris Kobach, who previously served as Kansas Secretary of State and who Yahoo describes as a man who has "made a career of voter suppression." Apparently, the email expressed support of the question because it would be more favorable to Republicans. "It has nothing to do with DOJ. It has nothing to do with the Voting Rights Act. It is about congressional apportionment to immigrants," she continued.
The freshman congresswoman reportedly went on to catch him in an alleged lie about speaking about the question after that email. Then she accused him of violating the law when he allegedly didn't get the required three reports to Congress for congressional approval before making the decision to add the question. Ross later said his counsel had advised him that they followed the law with regard to the reports, and the U.S. Department of Commerce did not reply to Elite Daily's request for further comment.
At that point, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-North Carolina) interrupted and said he was unaware of the law Ocasio-Cortez was speaking of to which she quickly responded, "I'd be happy to provide it."
By the time she was finished, Ross appeared to be totally out of it.
As for the citizenship question on the 2020 census, the Supreme Court will rule on whether it violated the Constitution sometime before June 2019, per NBC News.
That's not the only time Ocasio-Cortez has cracked down like this, either. There's also the time she went in during a congressional hearing on Feb. 27 that was centered around Michael Cohen, the former lawyer and fixer of President Donald Trump who was there to testify about a series of alleged transgressions he says involved his onetime client. Instead of lashing out against Cohen for his claims like others in the room or grandstanding, Ocasio-Cortez remained calm, asking one question after another in just a five-minute span. Tell me she wasn't a prosecutor in another lifetime:
What I'm saying is that she's not one to be messed with. Just a thought for anyone who may come into contact with her in the future.