House GOP proposes ‘lost confidence’ resolution on Attorney General Holder

Nearly two-dozen Republicans are backing legislation stating that Congress has lost confidence in Eric HolderEric H. HolderRacial undercurrents inflame Uber fight over background checks Chaffetz seeks to hold Obama official in contempt over water rule Eric Holder goes to bat for Uber MORE to continue as attorney general.
 
The resolution, introduced by Rep. Paul GosarPaul GosarHouse Republicans offer amendments to restrict IRS powers Overnight Finance: Republicans move to block overtime rule | House, Senate split on IRS cuts | Yellen heading back before Congress House passes 6B defense spending bill MORE (R-Ariz.) and supported by 21 GOP co-sponsors, resolves “that it is the sense of the House of Representatives that Congress has lost confidence in the Attorney General of the United States.”
 

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Gosar pointed to Holder’s role, as the head of the Justice Department, in overseeing a botched gun-tracking operation called Fast and Furious as the main reason for the diminished level of confidence.
 
He said he hopes the resolution would bring an added level of public awareness to the debate over whether Holder is fit to serve as the country’s top law enforcement officer.
 
“By filing this resolution, we are anticipating a debate on the House floor and a floor vote,” Gosar said in a news release. “This will bring needed inquiry, exposure and transparency to the issue itself.”
 
An aide on the House Judiciary Committee, where the resolution was referred to be marked up, said the panel did not have plans to consider the measure before the end of the year. It has not finalized its legislative schedule for next year, the aide said.
 
Republicans have been investigating and heavily scrutinizing Holder and the Obama administration over the operation for the majority of the year. Both Holder and Obama have said they did not authorize Fast and Furious and that they will hold those who did responsible.
 
Republicans said the operation — which oversaw the sale of about 2,000 weapons to known and suspected straw buyers for Mexican drug cartels — is indicative of an incompetent agency and that Holder must take responsibility for it because it occured under his watch.
 
“It is imperative that the citizens of our nation have confidence in our Attorney General,” Gosar said in the release. “After months of evasive answers, silence and outright lies, it is time that Congress speak up on behalf of the many people who have or will fall victims to the firearms in the flawed gunrunning operation Fast & Furious.”
 
The resolution is backed by Republican Reps. Trent FranksTrent FranksGOP rebuffs doctors on gun research House GOP considers options post-Orlando Indian leader touts US relations in Congress speech MORE (Ariz.), David SchweikertDavid SchweikertSenate races heating up Tea Party class reassesses record Lawmakers to DOD: Reject 'no touch' policy sought by 9/11 plotter MORE (Ariz.), Jeff Duncan (S.C.), Connie Mack (Fla.), Paul BrounPaul BrounCalifornia lawmaker's chief of staff resigns after indictment Republican candidates run against ghost of John Boehner The Trail 2016: Let’s have another debate! MORE (Ga.), Lynn Jenkins (Kan.), Gus Bilirakis (Fla.), Kenny Marchant (Texas), Michael Grimm (N.Y.), Blake FarentholdBlake FarentholdIt's not just journalists getting sued for free speech Why we need a free speech law to stop Trump-style legal threats Overnight Cybersecurity: House to offer bill on government hacking powers MORE (Texas), Renee Ellmers (N.C.), Jeff Landry (La.), Dan Burton (Ind.), Alan Nunnelee (Miss.), Francisco Canseco (Texas), Vicky Hartzler (Mo.), Bobby Schilling (Ill.), Steve Pearce (N.M.), Bill Johnson (Ohio), Walter Jones (N.C.) and Allen West (Fla.).
 
Holder came under fire last week before the Judiciary Committee over the operation, with Rep. Jim SensenbrennerJames SensenbrennerFor suburban women, addiction is a key election issue Dems amp up charges of voter suppression in Wisconsin Top Republican warns of discrimination at the polls in November MORE (R-Wis.) suggesting that impeachment charges could be brought against the attorney general if Republicans continue to feel as though the administration is blocking their attempts to get more information about the program.
 
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Holder maintains that DOJ has complied with congressional subpoenas and requests for information as much as possible, citing several ongoing criminal cases involved with the operation and an independent investigation by the DOJ’s inspector general that has been under way for nine months.
 
One of the issues on which Republicans have focused their anger is a February letter from the DOJ to Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyDozens of senators push EPA for higher ethanol mandate Civil liberties group mobilizes against surveillance amendment Brother may I? Congress must reform senseless drug regulation MORE (R-Iowa), in which the agency stated that it did not let guns “walk” — willingly enter the hands of suspected criminals with no plan to intercept or repossess them.
 
Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have testified, and documents uncovered by congressional investigators have revealed, that the operation did in fact let guns “walk,” a practice that began on a smaller scale in a separate operation during President George W. Bush’s administration.  
 
In an unprecedented move, Holder turned over scores of internal DOJ emails to lawmakers earlier this month in an attempt to show that the agency was acting on information that it believed true. Holder has said repeatedly that DOJ officials did not intentionally mislead members of Congress.  
 
According to the Daily Caller, 56 lawmakers have called for Holder’s resignation.

This story was updated at 4:03 p.m.