Despite being threaten with contempt of Congress charges, Attorney General Eric Holder and his Department of Justice have remained intransigent about cooperating with congressional probes looking into the fatally flawed Operation Fast and Furious.
So, fed-up with the stonewalling, the GOP-controlled House has decided to hit DOJ employees where it hurts the most: the wallet.
On Tuesday, the House – by a voice vote – agreed to cut $1 million dollars from the salaries of Justice Department employees. The amendment calls for the money to be cut out of the General Administration fund of the DOJ.
South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy proposed the motion while giving an impassioned speech on the DOJ’s gross mishandling of the scandal.
“For well over a year now, committees of Congress have been trying to answer basic fundamental questions about an ill-conceived, ill-executed firearms operation called Fast and Furious,” Gowdy said during his House floor speech.
“A Border Patrol agent was killed, hundreds of Mexican citizens have been killed, thousands of weapons are unaccounted for and likely, madam chairwoman, are going to be used in future crimes,” Gowdy continued.
“But the Department of Justice — and the attorney general specifically — will not provide documents properly, legitimately requested. So, I am left with no choice, madam chairwoman, but to offer an amendment cutting the Department of Justice’s appropriation.”
Thus far, Holder has refused to comply with the subpoena’s 22 categories, many of which relate to crucial Fast and Furious documents that DOJ will not – for whatever reason – release.
Gowdy also added a very cogent point, which underscored the DOJ’s hypocrisy on the matter. He said that if any ordinary American citizen ignored or obstructed subpoenas the way Holder has, they “would be sanctioned, fined and probably jailed.”
The motion passed with overwhelming support, hence the voice vote and lack of the need to officially record it. However, today, one Democratic representative came forth to defend Holder.
“I think that anyone in our country knows that this is a political matter, and that what we need to do is do our actual work here,” said Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA), according to The Hill. “And our work here is to deal with appropriations to figure out what the resources are that the Department of Justice needs to do its work.”
The Daily Caller followed up with Rep. Fattah’s spokeswoman, Debra Anderson, to see why he thought the motion to dock the pay of DOJ employees was politically motivated. She declined to answer. Anderson also refused to explain why Fattah didn’t call for a recorded vote, which would have at least put pressure on House members to pick sides.
And lastly, Rep. Fattah or his spokeswoman did not say whether he thought it was okay for the Attorney General of the United States to ignore a congressional subpoena.
Do you support the pay-docking motion? Do you think it was politically motivated or was it simply a desperate effort to get the DOJ to play ball? Or, perhaps, both?