US President Donald Trump has defended to add a citizenship question to the census after ordering documents that could shed light on the decision should be kept under cover.
He said it would be "ridiculous" not to ask the question, but critics say it is racially motivated.
Democrats later voted to keep the Trump administration officials in contempt for refusing to reverse the files.
A question of citizenship has not appeared on any American census since 1
The census once a decade counts helps the US government set up districts for state and local elections and governs the distribution of billions of dollars in federal funds .
What did President Trump say?
Asked about the case in the White House on Wednesday, he told reporters: "When you have a census and you must not talk about whether someone is a citizen or not, it does not sound so good to me.
" is quite ridiculous that we would have a census without asking. "
Trump administration argues that instead of being discriminatory, the issue is necessary to enforce 1965 voting rights Action protection for racemin minorities.
Republican President used his presidential power on Wednesday to marry Congress and invoked executive privilege of withholding documents on why citizenship issues were added.
How did Democrats react?
The Democratic-led House Monitoring Committee voted 24-15 to hold Advocate William Barr and Minister of Commerce Wilbur Ross despised to ignore congressional regulations that require the material.
El ijah Cummi ngs from Maryland said Wednesday: "We must protect the census's integrity and stand up for congressional authority during the constitution to make meaningful oversight."
his fellow Democrats at the committee said the census issue was designed to suppress the participation of racial minorities as Latinos.
"Is it really about citizenship?" said Rashida Tlaib in Michigan. "No. It's about reducing the number of color charters counted in the census. That's exactly what it's about."
Why the controversy?
It was reported last month that the citizenship issue was a school child Republican political consultant who claimed it would help his party politically.
Redistricting strategist Thomas Hofeller, who died in August, concluded in a 2015 study that adding the question to the 2020 census would create an electoral advantage for Republicans and "non-Spanish whites" of gerrymandering constituencies.
At the end of June, the US Supreme Court will rule whether the issue violates federal law after 18 US states have sued.
But those who are behind the trial said on Wednesday that they want the justice to delay their verdict to allow judicial treatment of Hofeller allegations.