Sep 22, 2018

Wilbur Ross to sit for deposition on 2020 census citizenship question

Wilbur Ross. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has been ordered to sit for deposition to understand his intent in wanting to add the citizenship question to the 2020 census, first reported by Courthouse News Service.

The backdrop: Ross told Congress earlier this year that he added the citizenship question to the 2020 U.S. Census to help the Department of Justice enforce the Voting Rights Act. However, new evidence from documents filed by the New York attorney general this week challenges Ross' reasoning for adding the question saying his "intent and credibility are directly at issue." Lawsuits challenging the plan to ask about citizenship status during the 2020 census are being allowed by federal judges to move forward.

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Congress' $250 billion PPP injection could come too late for some businesses

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Before the Paycheck Protection Program formally launched last Friday, we knew two things: The rollout would be rocky, and the initial $250 billion wouldn't be enough for America's small businesses.

The state of play: Banks and government officials have been working to smooth out the process, and on Thursday the Senate will vote to pump another $250 billion into the program.

Fauci: Social distancing could reduce coronavirus death toll to 60,000

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told NBC's "Today" on Thursday that he's hopeful that social-distancing measures in place across the U.S. will reduce the total number of coronavirus deaths.

Why it matters: Fauci said that while early models projected between 100,000 and 200,000 U.S. deaths from the pandemic, he now believes that number could come down to 60,000 — but he emphasized the importance of keeping social distancing in place to ensure that trend holds.

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OPEC+ and G20 energy meetings mark zero hour for oil diplomacy

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The next two days will be pivotal for determining whether large oil-producing countries can partially stabilize an industry reeling from very low prices and the historic, coronavirus-fueled collapse in demand.

Driving the news: The OPEC+ group led by Saudi Arabia and Russia begin meeting remotely later Thursday morning to discuss production cuts, to be followed by a virtual Friday meeting among G20 energy ministers that includes the U.S.