Issa expects 'bipartisan contempt' vote against Holder
Vote could be delayed or eliminated is subpoenaed documents appear
Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the top
Republican leading the House investigation into Operation Fast and
Furious says he expects a "bipartisan" floor vote to hold Attorney
General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress this coming week.
Both Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and Rep. Elijah Cummings agree that a contempt vote against Attorney General Eric Holder could be avoided if certain documents appear in time
Issa has kept his sights directly on the Justice Department, reiterating he has no evidence the White House was involved in any Fast and Furious cover-up. Issa has repeatedly said Congress is trying to get to the bottom of why the Justice Department "lied" about the operation.
There is a current momentum among majority House Republicans behind the contempt push against Holder. A committee contempt vote against Holder was held along party lines last week. Holder and Republicans were unable to reach an agreement over subpoenaed documents pertaining to the Obama administration's Fast and Furious discussions.
There is a possibility that the vote could be delayed or even "eliminated" if the administration produces the subpoenaed documents the House is seeking, Issa says, adding that the entire schedule is at the discretion of House Speaker John Boehner.
"But we have to see the documents first," he said.
Issa along with his allies are teeing up a major election-year clash this coming week between the Executive and Legislative branches, and between Democrats and Republicans.
President Obama had intervened last week, invoking executive privilege to protect the documents in question. Republicans dismissed the claim and proceeded with the contempt vote.
Minority House Democrats in the meantime are pleading with Republicans take a step back and work out the document dispute without the threat of contempt. Both sides are at loggerheads at the dais and in the press over what Democrats claim has become a political "witch hunt."
Like Issa, Rep. Elijah Cummings (R-Md.), ranking Democrat on the oversight committee says that the confrontation was entirely avoidable.
"I think it's extremely unfortunate," he said. "The attorney general has made it clear that he is willing to work with this Congress."
Cummings is calling upon Boehner to intervene and try to reach an agreement with Holder that involves turning over some documents while also halting the contempt proceedings.
"I think that we have a duty ... at this critical moment to get the documents," he said. "I know we can get them. It's just a matter of sitting down and talking to Holder."
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Keywords: DarrellIssa, Eric Holder, fast and furious, contempt vote
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