Now that the politically potent National Rifle Association is keeping score, some Democrats may join House Republicans if there’s a vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress in a dispute over documents related to a the botched gun-tracking operation “Fast and Furious.”
The chief Democratic House head counter, Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, declined to tell reporters how many defections he expected, but acknowledged that some in his party would consider heeding the NRA’s call for a “yes” vote.
One of those Democrats, Rep. Jim Matheson of Utah, said, “Sadly, it seems that it will take holding the attorney general in contempt to communicate that evasiveness is unacceptable. It is a vote I will support.”
The gun owners association injected itself last week into the stalemate over Justice Department documents demanded by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The NRA said it supports the contempt resolution and will keep a record of how members vote.
An NRA letter to House members contended that the Obama administration “actively sought information” from Operation Fast and Furious to support its program to require dealers to report multiple rifle sales.
The program, which began last August, imposed the requirement for sales of specifically identified long guns in four border states: Texas, California, Arizona and New Mexico. A federal judge upheld the requirement.
Republicans want Eric Holder to become the first attorney general to be cited by the House for contempt, because he has refused to give the Oversight and Government Reform Committee all the documents it wants related to Operation Fast and Furious.
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