Shutdown, Barr Confirmation, Citizenship on Census, Gillibrand Announces

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This week, Mike is joined by Republican policy analyst (and podcaster) Kristin Matheny. Mike and Kristin start things off by talking about the continuing government shutdown, including what it’s costing, the back-and-forth between Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell’s role, and how (and when) they think it will all end.

After that, they discuss the Senate hearings to confirm William Barr as Attorney General. Mike thinks liberals should be suspicious of President Trump’s pick, especially considering that Barr would be in charge when Robert Mueller wraps up his investigation. Kristen, who’s on board with far more of Barr’s policy views than Mike is, agrees that it’s reasonable for liberals to have at least some suspicions.

Next, Mike and Kristen consider whether there should be a citizenship question on the 2020 Census, as well as whether or not Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross broke with legal requirements in attempting to include the question. Kristen isn’t as convinced as Mike is on the potential damage from including a citizenship question, but she agrees that there are some major issues in how Ross attempted to insert the question.

The show closes with a discussion of New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who this week announced her candidacy for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Mike calls Gillibrand ‘Hillary Clinton 2.0’ and argues that she’d be a bad choice on multiple levels. Kristen agrees, and says that Gillibrand is vulnerable in a number of areas, and isn’t very likely to win the nomination.

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3 thoughts on “Shutdown, Barr Confirmation, Citizenship on Census, Gillibrand Announces”

  1. Hi all! I feel like I’m missing something when it comes to the citizen question issue on the census. The argument I keep hearing against it is that the census is used for things like determining the number of Representatives a state gets in the house, and how much funding is allocated first social programs like Medicare and Medicaid.

    Maybe I’m missing something, but it’s my understanding that illegal immigrants are not allowed to vote, and are otherwise ineligible for social welfare programs ( at least Medicare and Medicaid). Assuming the presence of the question depressed response rates for illegal immigrants, it seems that this would prevent over allocation of funds 2 States with large populations of ineligible individuals and insure that the number of Representatives a state has is based on the number of individuals eligible to participate in the American Democratic process.

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Lee – thanks so much for the comment! Some programs aren’t available to non-citizens as you point out. But my argument is that we already have a good measure of citizenship, in the form of the American Community Survey. And given that the Bureau’s own experts say that including the question will depress participation, we’ll almost certainly end up with a less accurate count than we would if we didn’t include the question. As for representation, the Constitution says its based on population, not citizen population. In fact, early on even slaves counted (3/5ths) for the purpose of representation. I agree with you that it’s good to have an accurate count of citizens and non-citizens. But based on the evidence I’ve seen, the Census isn’t the best method to get that count. -Mike

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