Congressman Blake Farenthold may or may not be able to get Obama Attorney General Eric Holder impeached and removed from office, but the bill he just introduced would hit Holder where it hurts the most — in the wallet.
Congressman Farenthold, who represents the 27th congressional district in Texas, along with fellow Republican congressmen Scott DesJarlais (TN-04) and James Lankford (OK-05), have introduced the Contempt Act (H.R. 4447), which would withhold the compensation of any government employee or official who is held in contempt of Congress.
Eric Holder, the first sitting Cabinet member to be held in contempt in the history of the United States, was held in contempt in June of 2012 for his refusal to release information regarding the Obama-Holder gunrunning operation known as Fast and Furious, which sent guns to Mexican drug lords. 17 Democrats joined with Republicans, resulting in a 255-67 vote against the Obama attorney general, with 108 Democrats choosing to abstain.
Rep. Farenthold briefly mentioned the bill last week, stating that, “If he [Eric Holder] continues refuse to resign, my bill would at least prevent hardworking American taxpayers from paying his salary,” and that any regular American citizen who refused to honor subpoenas like Holder has “would be in jail.”
In a statement about the Contempt Act, Farenthold said:
“In 2012, the House of Representatives voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over documents related to the botched Fast and Furious gun-running sting operation – despite this fact, he is still receiving his paycheck courtesy of American taxpayers.
In the next few weeks, the House is set to hold former IRS department head Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress for her role in the IRS’ political targeting of conservative groups. While Ms. Lerner has since retired from the IRS, my bill will at least prevent current and future federal employees, like Attorney General Holder, from continuing to collect their taxpayer-paid salaries while held in contempt of Congress.
The American people should not be footing the bill for federal employees who stonewall Congress or rewarding government officials’ bad behavior. If the average American failed to do his or her job, he or she would hardly be rewarded. High-ranking government officials should be treated no differently than everyone else.”