"It did not have to come to this," Gowdy said on the House floor. "But there are basic questions the public and Congress have a right to have answered. Such as, who in the Department of Justice approved the tactic of gun-walking?"
"This is not about politics to me," Gowdy said of Justice's refusal to answer questions about the operation. "This is about respect for the rule of law, it's about answers, it's about accountability, it's about acceptance of responsibility.
"I will not, I cannot stand idly by while oversight of this body is ignored."
Rep. Frank WolfFrank WolfLobbying World Overnight Regulation: Supreme Court rejects GOP redistricting challenge Supreme Court rejects GOP challenge to Va. redistricting plan MORE (R-Va.) said he agreed with the amendment, and that many of his letters on the issue have yet to be answered. "I completely support this," Wolf said.
Only one Democrat, Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.), spoke against the amendment, and criticized it as a political reaction.
"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," he said. "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."
However, no Democrat called for a recorded vote after it was approved by voice.
By early Tuesday evening, the House had debated nearly 20 amendments to the appropriations bill, H.R. 5326. Most of these will require roll-call votes, although five others have been passed by voice vote, from:
• Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio), to add $5 million to the Commerce Department's International Trade Administration to fight China's unfair trade practices.
• Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), to authorize the Economic Development Administration to provide technology grants.
• Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), to add $4 million to Justice's Drug Courts, offset by cuts to the Census Bureau.
• Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii), to add $1.6 million back into programs to clear marine debris, offset by cuts to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms salaries.
• Rep. Jon Runyan (R-N.J.), to move $5 million from Justice's Legal Activities and Salaries and Expenses to the Office of Violence Against Women.
Two amendments have been rejected by voice vote — one from Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) to increase funding for the Minority Business Development Agency by $5.3 million, and one from Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) to add $13.5 million for financial fraud enforcement, offset with cuts to NASA.