[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/14/art.gophouseout.ap.jpg caption="Republican members of the House gathered outside after walking of the chamber in protest Thursday."]
(CNN) - House Republicans staged a walkout Thursday afternoon to protest the Democratic leadership's decision to vote on a contempt motion citing White House Chief Of Staff Josh Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers.
The two have refused to comply with subpoenas in an investigation into the firings of U.S. attorneys in 2006. The Republicans think the House should be focused on passing an extension of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Rep. Adam Putnam, R-Florida, said Democrats are "more interested in a political witch hunt" than protecting the country.
The surveillance bill expires over the weekend. Republicans and Democrats in the House are hung up over a provision in the legislation that would grant telecommunication companies retroactive immunity for the help they provided to the Bush administration in investigating terrorism after the September 11 attacks.
–CNN's Brianna Keilar contributed to this report