Congressman Francisco "Quico" Canseco (TX-23), representative of a district with nearly 800 miles of U.S.-Mexico border, issued the following statement after the House voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for his failure to provide documents subpoenaed by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in its investigation of the failed Operation Fast and Furious:
"Operation Fast and Furious was a failed operation that cost at least one U.S. law enforcement officer his life and put thousands of weapons into the hands of criminals. I have heard from many of my constituents in the 23rd District of Texas demanding answers as to what went wrong during the operation, so that we can avoid making the same mistakes again and save lives. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee began an investigation to obtain the answers sought by the American people, but instead of cooperating fully with the committee throughout the process, Attorney General Holder failed to provide the information and documentation subpoenaed by the committee. Even after the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted on the contempt of Congress resolution, the committee worked to come to an agreement with the Obama Administration that would make the needed documents available and avoid bringing up the contempt of Congress resolution before the full House of Representatives. Unfortunately, the committee and the Obama Administration were not able to come to an agreement. Therefore, the House of Representatives has been left no choice but to hold Attorney General Eric Holder accountable for his failure to comply with the committee's subpoenas and to pass legislation holding Attorney General Holder in contempt of Congress. Congress has a constitutional duty to provide oversight of the Executive Branch; this is vital to ensuring that the Executive Branch remains accountable to the American people. The American people have demanded answers regarding Operation Fast and Furious, and the House of Representatives is working to get them."
Operation Fast and Furious was a secret gunrunning operation implemented by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Department of Justice aimed at tracking suspected arms traffickers. The Operation led to the sale of over 2,000 firearms, less than half of which have been recovered. Guns from the operation have been found at crime scenes on both sides of the border and have been attributed to the death of at least one federal U.S. law enforcement agent.