Washington (CNN) - Dismissing a vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress as a "political stunt," a group of House Democrats, led by the Congressional Black Caucus, is planning to walk out of the House chamber on Thursday and boycott the vote.
The move mirrors a similar walk out by House Republicans in 2008 when Democrats, who then controlled the House, held a vote to hold two top Bush Administration officials in contempt of Congress.
- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker
In a letter to House members that is still being circulated for signatures, the Democrats opposed to voting on the GOP-sponsored resolutions state, "Contempt power should be used sparingly, carefully and only in the most egregious situations. The Republican Leadership has articulated no legislative purpose for pursuing this course of action. For these reasons we cannot and will not participate in a vote to hold the Attorney General in contempt."
The letter goes on to say these Democrats refuse to participate in any vote that "would tarnish the image of Congress or of an Attorney General who has done nothing but work tirelessly to protect the rights of the American people. We must reflect upon why we are elected to this body and choose now to stand up for justice."
A senior Democratic aide told CNN that in addition to the Black Caucus, which includes over 40 members, the Hispanic Caucus, the Asian-Pacific American Caucus, and the Progressive Caucus may also participate. It's unclear whether any Democratic leaders will join in the boycott.
The number three House Democrat, Rep. Jim Clyburn, is a member of the Black Caucus. The top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Elijah Cummings, who is expected to lead floor debate against holding Holder in contempt, is also a senior member of the CBC. There was no word Wednesday whether Cummings would participate.
Democrats preparing to boycott the contempt vote plan to stage a news conference on the Capitol steps - as the House is voting - to call on House Republican leaders to focus on creating jobs.
- Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.