Congressional Black Caucus plans walk out of Holder contempt vote
June 27th, 2012
08:16 PM ET
10 years ago

Congressional Black Caucus plans walk out of Holder contempt vote

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.

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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.

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soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. vic , nashville ,tn

    I won’t blame them after read the article CNN money

    June 27, 2012 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  2. ThinkAgain

    It is a stunt – one designed to hamstring Holder who's going after all the voter suppression by the GOP governors. It's also designed to distract the country from the FACT that the GOP has nothing to offer us except the same tried-and-failed policies.

    It's all part of what the GOP has been doing for the past 3.5 years: Feed people's fear and anxiety and distrust towards President Obama, in a desperate attempt to make them forget that he has been successfully cleaning up the mess the GOP left us, including but not limited to killing Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks that HAPPENED ON GW BUSH'S WATCH.

    Obama/Biden 2012 = The only sane choice.

    June 27, 2012 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  3. ThinkAgain

    Karl Rove strategy session the afternoon of President Obama's inauguration: We don't have policies that work; we created a huge mess; no one in their right mind would ever vote Republican again.

    Sooooo, let's feed people's fears, anger, anxiety about their future, plus stoke the fires of division and racism because there's a black man in the White House, so enough people WON'T be in their right mind and do vote for Republicans and against their own self-interest.

    Yeah, that's the ticket!

    June 27, 2012 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  4. C

    Too bad they have to turn everything into a race issue, it's hard to take them seriously.

    People died and the truth needs to be told.

    It's possible crimes were committed. Sure wish they wouldn't race bait and would show concern for the lives lost.

    June 27, 2012 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  5. MikeB

    Any caucus based upon obtaining privilege or exemption based upon race is contrary to the 'Rule of Law' and 'Equal Justice Under the Law'. So why wouldn't they walk out on a vote that is intended to highlight the fact that the AG is in 'Contempt' of 'Congressional Oversight', 'The Rule of Law', and 'Equal Justice Under the Law'.

    June 27, 2012 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  6. Downey1

    Hmm, not sure what concerns me more, the fact that they are all acting like children or the fact that congress is dividing itself up into "race" groups. The worst part is, we the American people are only going to vote all these children back into office and this will continue for years and years to come.

    June 27, 2012 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  7. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    What do they plan on doing when they need to call Holder back to testify? Do you think that he would show? Likely he would, but why should he though.

    June 27, 2012 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  8. CBR

    This whole action and reaction is just another attempt to bring negative attention to the Obama administration and to avoid doing the business that these Congressmen and women were sent to Washington to do. Is there a budget? Is there a resolution to the tremendous debt that will be owed by students who have taken loans? Can Congress get their act together to do the job?

    Many in Congress were not happy that Mr. Holder was confirmed to be Attorney General. Their views will cloud this whole issue. Meanwhile the country is becoming more and more polarized and no one seem to care or understand what that means for our future. Certainly the leaders of Congress do not seem to realize just how polarized this country is or how their actions and reactions only add to it. The constant.negativity has had an impact. Why should anyone want to support members of Congress who are running for re-election. They have not been doing their jobs and that is not acceptable.

    June 27, 2012 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  9. 4anthedoor

    Walk out and keep on walking

    June 27, 2012 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  10. Dee

    I would say to Holder and the President hold your head up high and keep doing what is best for this country. The Republicans have done everything they could possibly do to bring this administration down. The have seeked and searched to no avail and now they have embarrassed themselves but the voters have the last say.

    People need jobs and are hurting and they are busy destroying the country and trying to keep the poor and middle class down. I do hope the Black Caucaus and other with good common sense will uphold the constituion and do the right thing and treat the Attorney General and President Obama with the respect that they deserve.

    This has all the elements of politics and race no one else has been treated this way in the history of this country especially a President and they have no regard and respect for his Executive Order and the Office of the President.

    June 27, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  11. Getoverit

    Somebody died. I guess this is not 'egregious' enough... Oh, wait, he was white...

    June 28, 2012 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  12. Common sense grandma

    Well, at least someone has the canines to stand up to the NRA-backed nonsense. President Obama has never made an attempt at gun control and has never given any real hint that it is part of his plan. However, logic and rationality are not involved when it comes to Republicans, overly influenced by the NRA, attempting to create a scandal in an election year.

    June 28, 2012 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  13. Edfromnebraska

    I hope the Black Caucus does walkout so they can show America who the real raciest are........Democrats are a joke except people are not laughing except at them.....Real cry babies, if they walk out in protest the only ones that suffer are those who walk out.......Voters will understand that their representatives are not able to represent them when they are not present....Please – Please – Please walk out. The only thing that will be accomplished is to show everyone who Black Democrats really are.......SAD! Obama was to bring us together not split America apart...........

    June 28, 2012 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  14. Dan

    Would they do the same if the AG was white?

    June 28, 2012 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  15. cybersurfer007

    Good! I hope that they do walk out just like the Repugs did under W. Bush! What goes around, comes around! {{{ raspberry }}} .

    June 28, 2012 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  16. enuff

    Finally, a group ready to stand up to the bullies. Let's see if the vote for contempt comes before or after the supreme court's ruling. How it goes may have a big influence on this proceeding... i noticed how it ramped up when the immigration ruling did not go the way the republicans planned.

    June 28, 2012 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  17. judy

    good walk out repos are on a witch hunt. Forward 2012

    June 28, 2012 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  18. FrankCastle

    Acting like spolied Children.. how LAME! WAAAA! WAAA!! and, isn't this a PURELY RACIST action???

    June 28, 2012 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  19. truth hurts

    no surprise here. democrat blacks supporting another democrat black, no matter that he is totally incompetent and has caused the death of many people. heck moron democrat voters even voted corrupt and criminal rangel back in the democrat primary. lets face, democrats just love incompetence and criminals.

    June 28, 2012 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  20. Dan5404

    Remember the Iran-Contra controversy? Where were the "indignant" GOP self-righteous partisans then?

    June 28, 2012 02:24 am at 2:24 am |
  21. Chris

    How is it our government leaders can make laws that we are expected to follow yet when it comes to them doing the same they believe that they are immune from the same? An American protector of our country was gunned down because Obama and Holder bent the laws and now they should pay for their miscues. I'm still waiting for this President to stand up tall and face the truth on how they managed to get this man murdered and their role in it.

    June 28, 2012 03:05 am at 3:05 am |
  22. xaton

    One can only hope these people who walk out STAY the he!! out. What a bunch of lying racist this bunch are, just like that banana republic president of theirs in the WH.
    Look American Conservatives, WE have some chores to do. I understand NOBODY ENJOYS shoveling the manure out of the stalls, BUT it needs doing. So get off your duffs this 2012 election cycle, REGISTER to vote, get your like minded friends and family in to REGISTER to vote. Take the day off and GO DOWN AND VOTE! Then after have a get together for a pot luck and watch the results. People, you're talking getting your country back or LOSING IT; that is what is in the balance here.
    If the American people do not REGISTER and GET OUT THE VOTE in 2012 then the qualified voting public, their families and their neighbors and their likeminded friends ALL deserve what they WILL BE GUARANTEED to get.
    America does NOT have to be on the decline, CLEAN your house of socialism NOW.

    June 28, 2012 03:46 am at 3:46 am |
  23. Iamnotfooled

    Good. If the Republicans did it, why can't the Democrats do it? Fair is fair.

    June 28, 2012 03:51 am at 3:51 am |
  24. King

    it's about time some dems show some cohonus, the repubs have acting like a spoiled brats since Obama won the election, just because they know they've got 2/3 of the white votes, including the 1 percenters who hold the power in the country, this is why they comes up with the most outrageous stuff and are still taken seriously. this kind of antics may be tollerated in this country, but we are a laughing stack to those on the out side looking in. now I understand why we are way behind in education.

    June 28, 2012 04:30 am at 4:30 am |
  25. scott

    Real mature, walk out, waaaaaaaaaaa (stomps feet), if we can't have it our way, then we are taking our ball and going home to mommy. Be men, stay and do your job.

    June 28, 2012 04:47 am at 4:47 am |
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