Ranking Member Cantwell, Commerce Democrats, Unanimously Oppose Michael Walsh Nomination

July 22, 2020

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and every Committee Democrat today voted against the nomination of Michael Walsh to be the General Counsel of the Department of Commerce. This month, the Department of Commerce Inspector General issued a report detailing Walsh’s intimate involvement in the effort to suppress scientific information as Hurricane Dorian advanced towards American shores.

“The report by the Department of Commerce Inspector General was pretty damning of Mr. Walsh, showing that he was instrumental in the statements issued by NOAA questioning career weather forecasters’ information as it related to Hurricane Dorian,” Ranking Member Cantwell said at the mark-up. “Mr. Walsh did all of this while the Hurricane was threatening other areas of the United States. We need science to be the lead. We need scientists to be able to speak up, to be heard, and to keep us safe.”

Ranking Member Cantwell also criticized Walsh for his role in the failed attempt to add a citizenship question to the U.S. census, and other attempts to undermine the collection of accurate and comprehensive data for the census.

“We have learned that Mr. Walsh was involved in efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census,” Ranking Member Cantwell said. “And that he may be involved in current other efforts to undermine hard-to-count populations as it relates to Native Americans. Unfortunately, I feel like these are repeated activities, and I cannot support Mr. Walsh’s nomination to be the General Counsel.