Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz pitched House Democrats Wednesday evening to join him and other Republicans in demanding Attorney General Eric Holder comply with a lengthy congressional subpoena issued over the failed Operation Fast and Furious gun scandal.
“If we get stonewalling on the other side of the aisle, without your support, we will do a disservice to this country, we will do a disservice to this body, and we will not get to the truth,” Chaffetz said on the House floor.
“I promise you, when that becomes a Republican president, I will stand with you and demand the openness and transparency that this body deserves,” he said. “I’ve done it; I’ve challenged my own party, I have the guts, I have the fortitude to do the right thing.”
Chaffetz said all Americans “should be embarrassed by what’s happening in Fast and Furious.”
“My challenge to members on both sides of the aisle is to stand up and have the integrity to say that we have a dead U.S. agent; we have a Department of Justice that lied to Congress,” Chaffetz said. “Where are the guts in this body to stand up and say: ‘We’re not going to put up with that’?”
Chaffetz added that if House Democrats can’t step forward and demand that the Obama administration comply with the 22-part congressional subpoena issued last year, they have no “guts.”
“This is the test of principle, this is the test of integrity, and when you can’t stand up and take on your own party, that’s a lack of guts,” Chaffetz said. “This Congress has got to stand up for itself, and demand that these documents be released.” (RELATED: Sen. Cornyn: Holder’s ‘arrogance knows no bounds’)
Chaffetz was pushing an amendment demanding accountability from those responsible for planning and implementing Fast and Furious, and for stonewalling Congress’ investigation.
One House Democrat has already stepped forward to demand Holder comply with the subpoena. On Tuesday, Indiana Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly threw his support behind House oversight committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa’s efforts to enforce the subpoena Holder has thus far completely failed to comply with.
Issa served Holder a subpoena on Oct. 12, 2011. Holder has thus far failed to comply with all 22 categories of the subpoena that requires him to provide Congress with documents relating to Fast and Furious. On 13 of the categories, Holder has provided no documents. On the other nine subpoena categories, Holder is still far from compliant.
Democrats, for the most part, voted en masse with Chaffetz and Republicans to demand accountability. According to Chaffetz’s Twitter account, his amendment passed the House with extraordinary bipartisan support by a vote of 381 to 41.