Dems walk out of contempt vote
TALK RADIO NEWS SERVICE
WASHINGTON - Dozens of House Democrats walked out on House proceedings Thursday to protest Republican efforts to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.
At a press conference following the walkout, Emanuel Cleaver (D-M.O.), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, drew attention to the variety of lawmakers who took part in the act of protest.
“This represents the whole diversity of the Democratic Caucus of the 112th caucus and one of the things we are attempting to do is make sure that at least a group of the members of Congress express to the nation that we are non participants in what we believe to be a calamity,” Cleaver said. “This is a terrible day for the House of Representatives. What this is about, we can’t decide for sure. But, it certainly is not about Eric Holder or holding back documents.”
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said that this walkout was about “fairness” and that the House needs to refocus its priorities, before starting a chant of “Shame on you” among the assembled members.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) described the vote as a “misuse of power,” voicing her disappointment on the overall nature of the vote.
Many members noted that this was a historic low, noting that no presidential cabinet member had previously been held in contempt of Congress.
Republicans, particularly House Oversight Chair Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), charged that Holder raised the specter of a coverup by failing to turn over the full breadth of documents related to the botched Fast and Furious gun running operation.
The House voted 255-67 to place Holder in criminal contempt and 258-95 in favor of civil contempt.
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