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Statement by Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay (D) Missouri Regarding the Republican Contempt Citation Against Attorney General Holder


Location: Washington, DC

"The Republican Leadership is rushing recklessly to a contempt vote. They are focused on shameful election-year political posturing instead of the real issue. Those who are relentlessly pursuing a baseless, partisan attack on Attorney General Holder and the president have ignored the desperate pleas of the Mexican government: to strengthen American gun laws, and curb the gun trafficking that gave rise to the strategy in the first place.

How can the Republican leadership be content with those same powerful assault weapons being sold right here in this country legally, putting our communities at even greater risk? This "investigation" has been nothing more than a disgraceful political witch-hunt.

Now, instead of focusing on job creation and other critical issues before this Congress, we have been asked to engage in a political stunt on the floor of the United States House of Representatives. Our constituents elected us to do real work, not to engage in meaningless partisan activity.

Contempt power should be used sparingly, carefully and only in the most egregious situations. The Republican Leadership has articulated no legislative purpose for pursuing this course of action. For these reasons I cannot and will not participate in a vote to hold the Attorney General in contempt. I adamantly oppose this partisan attack and refuse to participate in any vote that would tarnish the image of Congress or of an Attorney General who has done nothing but work tirelessly to protect the rights of the American people. I choose now to stand up for justice."

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