Following news that Wilbur Ross is refusing to appear before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies, just hours before he was supposed to testify on his agency’s budget, Restore Public Trust spokesperson Lizzy Price has issued the following statement:
“What is Wilbur Ross hiding? It’s unprecedented for a Cabinet Secretary to refuse to appear before Congress to the extent Ross has. Ross was scheduled to answer questions about his agency’s budget, one of the most basic duties of any Cabinet Secretary. Now, after months of lying and avoiding Congressional oversight, he’s hit a new low. Ross may be scared to face Congress, but Americans deserve answers.”
This latest refusal marks the second time in a week that Ross has refused to appear before Congress. Last week he refused to appear before the Senate Appropriations Committee, providing no explanation for his decision not to appear.
See our earlier release below.
Restore Public Trust: Secretary Ross Must Answer for His Repeated Lies
As Commerce Secretary Testifies on His Department’s Budget, Details on His Personal Budget Still Murky
Washington– Today, as Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross testifies before the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies on the Commerce Department’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget, questions still swirl around Ross’ personal finances. Earlier this year, the Office of Government Ethics rejected Ross’ personal financial disclosure after discovering that he had lied on it. And just last month, Ross testified in a hearing about adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census on the condition that members wouldn’t ask him about his financial disclosures.
“Once again, Secretary Ross is testifying today after he was caught lying on his financial disclosures and has ducked and dodged every attempt to get him to answer for his lies,” said Lizzy Price, spokesperson for Restore Public Trust. “Americans can’t trust anything Ross says or does as Commerce Secretary, because we don’t know if he’s using his position to personally profit. Just because Secretary Ross is a millionaire doesn’t mean he is above the law.”
Last month, Restore Public Trust (RPT) launched a digital campaign called Where’s Wilbur’s Money? that highlighted Ross’ lack of transparency surrounding his financial disclosures. Today, RPT is resuming its campaign, continuing to urge the embattled Secretary to stop lying and come clean about his finances.
Ross’ financial disclosures aren’t his only transparency issue. Although he is testifying before the House Appropriations Committee today, Ross recently refused to appear before the Senate Appropriations Committee without providing any explanation. He also recently attempted to get out of testifying before the House Oversight Committee because he didn’t want to answer questions about his personal finances. And the reason he was asked to testify was because he was caught lying to Congress about his involvement in adding the citizenship question to the 2020 Census. Yesterday, the House Oversight Committee voted to issue subpoenas to Ross and Attorney General Barr about adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census.
Restore Public Trust has also filed 20 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to the Department of Commerce regarding Ross’ financial disclosures among other subjects, and has yet to receive any response.