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Congresswoman Corrine Brown Protests Contempt Vote



"I am categorically opposed to the attempt by the House Republican party to hold the Attorney General of the United States of America, Eric H. Holder, in contempt. Never before has the United States House of Representatives ever held a United States Attorney General, or any other Cabinet official, in contempt.

I serve on the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Committee on Veterans Affairs, and I have witnessed time and time again how the Republicans endlessly subpoena and investigate in an attempt to avoid engaging in any kind of constructive business. Indeed, everything for them is politics, and they are set on keeping the Agency Secretary's minds distracted from carrying out their work for the American people. The Transportation Committee, as a prime example, had never been partisan in the past, while in the past year and a half we have engaged in incessant bickering. This is nothing more than a political witch hunt that occurs in one form or another every day, in every committee, in this Congress.

Instead of focusing on job creation and other critical issues before this Congress, House Republicans are distracting the American people with a political stunt on the floor of the United States House of Representatives. The constituents of Florida's third congressional district, as well as United States citizens across the nation, elected us to do real work, not to engage in meaningless partisan activity.

Over the past 15 months, Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice have cooperated with the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform's requests for information on "Fast and Furious", an unfortunate operation that began under the Bush Administration and, in fact, was terminated by Attorney General Holder. The Department of Justice has made extraordinary efforts to accommodate Congress by turning over almost 8,000 documents--including all of the documents that relate to the tactics in this investigation and the other flawed investigations that occurred in Arizona during the Bush Administration. It is also worth noting that the contempt citation targets documents created months after Fast and Furious was shut down. That's what a sideshow this is.

Contempt power should be used sparingly, carefully and only in the most egregious situations. And the Republican Leadership has articulated no legislative purpose for pursuing this course of action. For these reasons, I adamantly refuse to participate in a vote to hold the Attorney General in contempt."

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