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Mr. REYES. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to express my opposition to the majority's decision to force a contempt vote on the floor. I want to mention the following points for the record.
There is no evidence that the attorney general authorized, condones, or knew about ``gun walking.'' Chairman DARRELL ISSA admitted this yesterday before the Rules Committee.
There is no evidence that the attorney general lied to Congress or engaged in a cover-up. Chairman ISSA also admitted this yesterday.
There is no evidence that the White House had anything to do with ``gun walking'' operations. Chairman ISSA admitted this on Fox News on Sunday.
Democrats wanted a real investigation, but Chairman ISSA refused TEN different requests from Democrats for a hearing with Ken Melson, the former Director of ATF--the agency in charge.
Chairman ISSA said this yesterday about ``gun walking'' operations under the Bush Administration: ``They were all flops. They were all failures.'' Yet, he has refused all Democratic requests to interview Bush Administration officials about their rules.
Despite finding no evidence that Attorney General Holder knew about ``gun walking'', the Committee has obtained documentary evidence showing that former Attorney General Mukasey was personally briefed on botched interdiction efforts during the Bush Administration and he was told that they would be expanded during his tenure. Chairman ISSA has refused to call on Mukasey for a hearing.
Republicans have not granted a single Democratic witness request during the entire 16 month so-called investigation. This has been a credible process.
As soon as Attorney General Holder learned about ``gun walking'', he immediately halted it and ordered an IG investigation.
In closing Mr. Speaker, I think the worst part is that the tragic death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent is being politicized and used as a way to score cheap political points. This is especially disappointing to me. As a former Border Patrol Agent and Sector Chief with 26 1/2 years of law enforcement experience on the U.S.-Mexico Border, I expect that this body show more respect and more focus.
Instead of using this tragedy as a political ploy, this body needs to see this as a learning opportunity and a wake-up call. We must take action and provide ATF with the needed resources and tools it needs to tackle the issue of gun trafficking. I hope that this Congress is able to move on to enact the critical reforms needed to more effectively combat this threat---and I will gladly work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle on that particular effort.
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