Congressman Introduces Bill to Withhold Eric Holder’s Paycheck

Eric Holder

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.”

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  1. I believe that ALL Federal Employees and Elected Officials Including Odumbo should have their pay “Stopped” and NOT get paid back Retroactively when they are held in contempt of Congress—-They just LOSE IT!!!!

  2. All the billionaire lefty democrat donors will happily chip in to make him financially whole. He needs to be impeached and jailed.

    1. Bill will never fly. It’s tantamount to slavery to have a person work for nothing. This bill will not make it in the slightest and even if it should, then he simply has a field day with SCOTUS as they overturn it and the people that proposed it have, in the meantime, wasted money and spun their wheels.

    2. Considering he should be GONE, as in fired, I can’t see where taking his paycheck is any issue at all. The man is in contempt, on top of being personally contemptible. If he shouldn’t be there, he also shouldn’t receive any pay either.

    3. The issue is, that it is illegal. Until the man is removed from that position he has to be paid. They cannot refuse to pay him just because he was held in contempt. That is the exact same thing as slavery and the courts would overturn that quicker than a politician lies.

      It does not matter one iota if he is in contempt. He has to be found guilty and removed from his cabinet posting and that will not happen as DOJ has declined to prosecute. So that leaves ONLY the civil side of things.

    4. Are you an Attorney? Even if you are, you should go back to law school. Holder’s contempt charge and his refusal to resign is enough. He has a choice, to ether resign or not get paid. Congressional statutes supersedes your biased opinion.

    5. Tinker61, no, actually it is not. It is against the law, period. Oh they can sign the bill into law but SCOTUS will overturn it and rule it illegal. You can’t make a person work for no pay. That is called slavery.

      He does not have to resign. That is simply what Congress WANTS him to do. As to contempt. The only thing Holder has to worry about there is the civil side of it. The Criminal side is not being pursued by the DOJ.

      Congress statutes do not supersede the law. Hate to break that little tidbit to you and it’s not opinion.

    6. It’s a LAW until it’s ruled unconstitutional. And Congress can demand his resignation. Contempt of Congress is a FELONY, and that has been upheld by the Supreme Court. Just because he refuses to pursue legal action does not exempt him. The commission of a FELONY is legal grounds to remove him. After his refusal, Congress can appoint a special prosecutor and indict him. Hate to break this lil tidbit to You, but Congressional Statues are LAW until ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. You are no attorney, that is obvious.

    7. It’s ONLY a law when signed or overridden by Congress. This is neither and won’t progress to that point. Congress can demand it but he has zero obligation to give it. Contempt of COngress is ONLY a Felony when prosecuted Criminally and that has been declined. And the man cannot be penalized prior to that happening. Remember that innocent until proven guilty in a court of law? Yeah, that little bit means they can do nothing UNTIL.

      Hate to break it to you but Congress can hold him in contempt but they lack the actual judicial backing. That takes a Judge to rule that yes, it is legal and binding. That is why when a person is charged with Contempt of Congress that it has to then go to a Judge. They are not a court and lack that power.

      Nope, not an attorney but I know the laws of our land. You might avail yourself to learn them. Learn something.

    8. All you’ve posted is accurate, but Congress can appoint a special prosecutor, that is within their power. That is who will bring the court action. He will be tried by a jury at that point. He DECLINED to prosecute Himself. That is in itself a Conflict of Interest. A special prosecutor can indict him and bring the court action. What defense does he have? He refused to honor a subpoena legally served. He refused to turn over the documents the subpoena demanded. And how do you know it won’t progress to this point? It very well might not but Congress well has the power to do so. And your “Slavery” remark is total BS. I MIGHT know a little law. I’m a 25 yr veteran of both State and Federal law enforcement. And 15 of those years was Federal. Now, I’m through with this point. So continue to argue with yourself if that’s your choice.

    9. Real simple. For a bill to make it into law it has to pass both the senate and the House and either be signed by the president or have a majority of all members of congress to override a veto. It it EVER makes it that far it will be challenged in the courts and struck down. A person cannot be made to work for nothing. Now if there was a fine or something THAT could be taken out of his check but no law is enforceable that would take a persons paycheck while they work.

      No, the slavery remark is not BS. A slave worked for a person for no money. And attempting to take away a persons pay with them still working IS slavery. You might do well to understand that as that will be what will kill this.

      You are a LEO, that does not make you an Attorney or how Congress etc works. As to his defense, I don’t know what he has but an an attorney that has made it this far and been successful enough to be appointed Attorney General has to have some trick up his sleeve.

    10. OK One more response. I learned all that stuff about how Congress works in the Academy. so you’re preaching to the choir. If he’s convicted of a felony, he will be impeached if Congress has gone this far. He is the Attorney General because he was Strongly connected to Obuma and supported him in 2008. His is a Political Appointment.
      He’s Directly connected to “Fast and Furious” and gun running in itself is a felony because it entails the illegal transfer or sale of weapons. Plus his department’s involvement in all the coverups regarding the harassment of all the conservative organizations by the IRS and other government agencies will come to play. The Senate majority is democrap, so and indictment by the house could well be a fruitless endeavor. But if the Senate goes Republican in November, both he and Obuma will be indicted by the house and convicted by a Republican Senate. As to your slavery remarks, slaves had no choice but to work. Congressional authority funds the federal government and last I checked, Holder came under the federal funding act. So Congress can pass a bill to take his pay check. So he can continue to work and not get taxpayer’s hard earned money. He has continually refused to enforce laws that he is sworn to enforce. The bill may or may not pass the democrap Senate as it’s now constituted. But again, if the Republicans gain control in November. That’s a whole nother ballgame. So, his refusal to honor a legally served subpoena may be the lessor of his worries come November. Now you run along and continue your law studies. You need that.

    11. lol Well for being a proclaimed LEO for 25 years you obviously didn’t gather much actual LAW knowledge. A person cannot be made to work for no wage. That among other things is why this bill will fail. Congress can pass it and the courts will strike it down and Congress will be laughed at for the sheer idiocy of it.

      Was he charged in Fast and Furious? Nope. Or the IRS Scandal? Nope. Apparently my law studies are superior to whatever you have managed to pick up being a proclaimed LEO for 25 years.

      You make a lot of assumptions that are baseless Tinker61. You need to run along and actually look up the law and study it. Google is your friend in that respect. Holder won’t be Impeached, Obama won’t be impeached, but you hold tight to that fantasy to give your comfort.

    12. You’re an Idiot that knows just enough LAW from your Google experience to make yourself look stupid.. I learned from instructors that WERE Attorneys, not from some bullshit I learned from GOOGLE. So you have a nice life and continue to gain your law degree from your GOOGLE experience and see how many bar exams you pass. My Dad told me years ago to never argue with an idiot. Folks watching, listening or reading can’t tell which is the Idiot. Since all you have posted generally confirms that you are in fact, an Idiot. Sayonare

    13. It’s clear who the idiot is. You have already been proven wrong. You did not like that so you started in with the snark BS. You got slammed for it.

      If you are to be believed about your 25 year LEO career, the Instruction you got, as you put it “from the Academy” was over 25 years ago. Outdated Tinker61. This is actual up to the date CORRECT material.

      The law is about what can be proven, not what a person assumes or wants to happen. You have nothing but assume and present material that is neither correct nor up to date. You got caught and called on it and now have your feathers ruffled.

    14. Congress MAKES THE LAWS. Not any other agency or department. So, if they want to make a law that people in contempt lose their pay, they are most certainly BY OUR LAW able to do so.

    15. Congress proposes laws. Just because they propose a law does not make it legal or constitutional. This bill, as proposed, violates the Fair Labor Standards act that has been in place for decades. Upon appeal, if passed, this law would be thrown out as unconstitutional.

    16. True enough. It needs to be voted on by the majority and signed by the President – a REAL one – or the veto by a President, overturned by a greater majority. However, that is exactly what our government has so twisted out of the Truth with their stealing power. It is NOT up to the courts to second guess a law. They DO NOT HAVE the right to UNDO a congressional law unless clearly unconstitutional AND brought to the court through proper procedure. If nobody, or no state, brings it to the supreme court they have NO say at all.

    17. Actually that is EXACTLY the courts function. To adjudicate the law, and hold it to standard with the Constitution. Without Courts review and either affirming or striking down of laws this nation would be in a sorry state indeed.

      Correct, if it is not brought to a court they cannot rule on it but all laws at some point pass before the Supreme Court. Someone, somewhere always brings an argument as to why this or that law is Unconstitutional. Look at the sheer amount of Activist groups that the US has. Everything from Environmental groups to LGBT to Humanist to Labor.


      This illustrates it rather well.

      In the Congress proposed law, it is illegal since what they are attempting to do it withhold his entire paycheck on the basis of his Contempt of Congress. By law that is illegal according to DOL regulations. Part of his pay could be wage garnished if he had an actual debt he had incurred. This is where it will be struck down in the courts, upon appeal, IF it even makes it to actual law. Many Bills never make it past debate and votes and simply die on the floor but both the house and senate regularly heard thousands each session.

    19. Except they are not ‘making him work’. He can freely choose whether to continue working or not, knowing his salary is being withheld while he is in contempt. It may be found to be unconstitutional, but I don’t think the issue is that cut and dry.

      I think it holds water under “punishment of disorderly behavior”.

      However, if he continues to work, as “The Senators and Representatives shall receive a compensation for their services, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the treasury of the United States. ” – there will needed to be additional caveats. That is, perhaps someone held in contempt does not have their entire salary waived, but receives a vastly discounted rate (such as, perhaps, the minimum wage in the area).

      In that way, there would be the typical compensation for a congressman in good standing, as well as a diff compensation for members of government currently in contempt.

    20. No Amonite, it does not work like that. See, the man is the Attorney General of the United States. Until he resigns, or he is replaced by the President then he comes to work each day and has the expectation to get paid. Congress does not get to deny the man his paycheck simply because they are ticked about his refusing their demand for his resignation. Bottom line is as long as the man is working he gets paid and Congress just has to chomp down hard on that and deal with it.

      It holds NO water under punishment for disorderly behavior. The man is a Federal employee and as such the options are rather limited as to what can be done. They are free to hold him in Contempt, Criminally it won’t fly. Civil wise it will. They can impeach him but again that involves a rather lengthy process that in the end is rendered null and void by by a simple sentence that you know will be uttered.

      “By the power vested me, as the President of the United States, Eric Holder you are hereby pardoned.”

      Again his pay cannot be withheld in that fashion. The ONLY way is to word it as a fine and even that is a one time thing.

    21. Congress holds itself to the Congressional Accountability Act, it is not bound by all the rules of the FLSA like the private sector. And, they can always do it as an amendment to the CAA. I think there is a board that was set up for handling petitions to amend or repeal a regulation.

      Furthermore, before the case ever gets to the courts, decisions as to whether or not a claim of pay being withheld is even able to be made is decided by an independent hearing officer. If they decide the claim that pay is due while in contempt is ‘frivolous’, it’s dismissed. The hearing officer, if they do not dismiss the claim, is the one that renders a decision. It then can go on to appeal, etc.

      Basically, if congress actually passes a law about pay withholding (specifically if they amend the CAA), its not going to fail under any discrimination principle since its not due to religion, gender, disability, etc. I think all they have to do is to declare certain provisions “invalid” for employees Held in contempt of Congress.

      Even under the FLSA, pay can be withheld, at least in part, to serve a disciplinary suspension for infractions of workplace rules (and contempt of congress sure seems like it counts). However, congress would need to apply that rule to all members – and if they do not have a current policy, then making one now would not retroactively apply it to Holder (I think), but only for future contempt cases.
      The FLSA does not require vacation, holiday, severance, etc – so those could easily be removed.

    22. It does not matter what Congress holds itself to. Holder is covered under the rules of FLSA. They cannot withhold his pay, no matter what they might like. The man works, the man gets paid. Period.

      No, there are no disciplinary pay consequences under FLSA. Pay is only garnished when there is a court order and that has to be for a valid debt and cannot exceed 25% after taxes and valid withholdings.

    23. How does that even make sense? Congressional employees are not protected by the FLSA, they are protected by the Congressional Accountability Act. While the FLSA does cover most private and public employees, it does not cover Senate/House of Representatives, etc. Rather, the CAA includes some of the FLSA provisions so that congressman have similar coverage. Congress could easily pass a law reducing the earnings of someone held in contempt to minimum wage + overtime for a period of time, but given the actual exemptions and procedures, it would take very little difficulty to exempt those in contempt from protection, since it’s not a matter of discrimination.

    24. You do realize that Holder does not even fall under CAA? Might want to check that out. It applies to Congress and their committees, Capital Police and a few others. Not real sure why you even brought CAA into this conversation.

      Oh, I’m not doubting they could pass such legislation but upon appeal to a Court and eventually reaching SCOTUS it would be overturned. They can fine the man but that is a one time thing and they can attach that as a wage garnishment but that is about all they can do.

    25. Boy that would mess with their heads wouldn’t it? Maybe that’s what our states need to start doing. If our Fed Reps out of the STATES do not serve appropriately then the STATES need to call them home.

  3. I do not think the right against self-incrimination should apply to Federal employees operating as agents of the US government. Individuals have rights, not agencies. If they refuse to turn over information or testify, they should be arrested…and not subject to the whim of the DOJ, but to the Congress.

    1. Couldn’t agree more. Especially when WE are paying them. They have to be held accountable to us.

  4. Just taking his paycheck means nothing, he probably steals 1,000 times the amount of his check a yr anyway–He needs to be put in PRISON and treated as an enemy combatant!

  5. I think all federal employees who owe back taxes should lose their jobs, including senators and congressmen.

    1. Why stop there with that line of thinking. Fair is fair after all. EVERY person that owes back taxes should lose their jobs, Federal or otherwise.

      Stop and think for a moment. If they lose their jobs, then there is no way to collect the debt owed and these people could then draw on Unemployment etc.

    1. The bill is not even legal and even if it did pass, would not stand a constitutional check and would get overturned at the Judicial level.

    2. If that is the case (and I doubt it), then what is the penalty for a person being held in contempt of our Congress?

    3. There are two contempt charges facing Eric Holder. The criminal contempt of congress can result in jail time if he is taken to criminal court. The problem is that the justice department, which he is the head of, makes the decision to take him to criminal court. They have already declined to do that. The criminal contempt charge will basically go away from my understanding. The civil contempt charge allows congress to take the matter before a judge and request that the judge review the matter and possibly force Holder and President Obama to turn over the requested documents. This process however has a long and drawn out process with several levels of appeal. It will no doubt take months if not years to resolve.

    4. I, obviously, do not have a legal mind… accountant! I do feel that you feel as I do that we need Holder removed from office. Some are calling for impeachment. Difficult for me to understand why a person, not elected, but appointed and confirmed needs to be impeached. Oh well. So, as I see it now, the only way to get rid of him is if Republicans take the Senate in November, Congress could impeach. Correct?

    5. Typically Impeachment is associated with presidents but it can be used on Highly placed Federal officials like Holder. Yes, Congress could Impeach if the Republicans take the senate, but even if impeached the President retains the power to pardon him and let’s face it.. so far in 5 years he has used it 67 times. His last minute in office he could pardon Holder and there is literally nothing that can be done about it.

    1. Yeah, but when the SCOTUS deemed it a tax, the law should have had been changed and voted on again.

    2. Nope. Because by the time it reached SCOTUS it was already signed and sealed as a law. It’s wording was changed by SCOTUS as it was interpretted and made re-invisioned as a Tax which then made it legal and binding

  6. We should do one better, make the pay stop to be as of June 1, 2012 make him pay back the wages received after his failure to deliver in contempt of Congress. He sqealed like a pig when cornered. The same goes for the fraud President, we should seek to stop funding the White House’s staff, their pay Barry’s and Micheal’s(Michelle), the staff’s pay, entertainment there, the Security staff must too be unfunded and last but not least sue the Obama’s for reimbersment of all costs generated for their vacations including the cost’s to operate and the logistics for Air Force One and the Security staff (Every penny spent by the Obama’s for their bogus reasons for being there are not of benefit to the American Public and is plain and simply theft (Grand Larceny); we all know Barry’s reasons for going to Hawaii was to try to confuse or make an attempt to fabricate yet another Birth Certificate. “O” is in the same boat as Holder when it comes to not providing information about all his illegal activities; with Obama in contempt the House of Horror’s will come down.

    1. This Is ABSOLUTELY CRIMINAL that the JUSTICE dept CAN and WILL decide to do NOTHING….. A crime is a crime and NO ONE SHOULD BE ABOVE THE LAW…was Nixon…is HOLDER???? PEOPLE, we need to call and KEEP CALLING our Representatives and ESPECIALLY OUR DEMOCRAT SENATORS to try to force Holder to do the right thing and not let ideology run our gov’t. Call the White House TOO…Let Obama KNOW how ou feel and put pressure on him to get HOLDER to investigate this with an INDEPENDENT COUNSEL.
      WH phone switchboard 202-456-1414
      comment line 202-456-1111
      KEEP this and get the other #’s you need and KEEP them posted up so you can call whenever needed to get these Progressive to uphold ALL the laws, not just the ones THEY AGREE WITH…or STOP THE MONEY..

      Remember Money talks…BS walks

    2. lol My you ARE living in a dreamland. Will never happen, could never happen for hundreds of reasons, not the least of which is no moment of Congress would allow it to get to a vote.

  7. It is ABSOLUTELY CRIMINAL that the JUSTICE dept CAN and WILL decide to do NOTHING about Lois Lerner….. A crime is a crime and NO ONE SHOULD BE ABOVE THE LAW…was Nixon???? Impeach Holder….PEOPLE, we need to call and KEEP CALLING our Representatives and ESPECIALLY OUR DEMOCRAT SENATORS to try to force Holder to do the right thing and not let ideology run our gov’t. Call the White House TOO…Let Obama KNOW how ou feel and put pressure on him to get HOLDER to investigate this with an INDEPENDENT COUNSEL.
    WH phone switchboard 202-456-1414
    comment line 202-456-1111
    KEEP this and get the other #’s you need and KEEP them posted up so you can call whenever needed to get these Progressive to uphold ALL the laws, not just the ones THEY AGREE WITH.

  8. OMG someone is finally DOING SOMETHING about they lying crooks and criminals in this administration. I know nothing will happen as long as another criminal heads up the Senate but that can be remedied too. Thank you Congressman Farenthold!

  9. How old is old Harry?

    He looks like he is in his nineties!

    Make us a favor Harry, step down.

    1. Yes he needs to, he is behind the Bundy Ranch thing and says it’s not over, because his Chinese friends wants to put a wind farm of some sorts there

  10. A waste of Time; The Evil DimRat controlled senate will never pass it; It would be a step in holding them the Evil DimRats accountable; Even if it should pass Pinocchio won’t sign it; It would blow up His cover up schemes;

  11. This can very well change if the Dems lose the senate seats in Nov. I have no doubt Obama and his corrupt admin are working again on how to win (steal) another election.

  12. The blacks in this country should be ashamed to have Obumbass representing them. For one thing, he’s not even from here, with no knowledge of American values. And although it was time we would get a black President, it didn’t pay by playing the race card when voting for one. I hope the people who voted for him learned something about voting for his merits, etc. Now if we would have picked one of the many qualified blacks, that would have said something. Instead our country stooped to voter fraud, so what do they expect? They got their Ofraud and their welfare checks and free phones. I just hope the ignorent voters learned something.

  13. Well, how come it took so long to withhold his pay? That seems to be a no brainer! What is wrong with you people? If I was in comtempt of court–I would be in Jail–I sure would NOT be getting paid to be there.

  14. Can they fine him the totality of his salary every month? Better yet fine the heck out of him to the tune of $m then confiscate his property. Take a page out of the lefty playbook and ruin this clown and put a lien on everything he owns so when he retires he has to live in some public $ hithole