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Rep. Clarke’s Statement on Contempt Vote for Attorney General Eric Holder

Washington, D.C. – Today, Representative Yvette D. Clarke, along with her Democratic colleagues, walked out in opposition to the vote spearheaded by the Republican leadership to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt.

“I am disheartened by the Republican majority’s decision to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt. Their votes demonstrate indifference to the separation of powers required by the Constitution, and has increased polarization in Congress,” said Representative Yvette D. Clarke.

“For the first time in the history of the United States House of Representatives, a Cabinet official, in this case an Attorney General, has been held in contempt of Congress –simply for doing his job. This act is a deliberate misuse of power which I hope will be challenged.

 “Our system of government depends on a separation of powers that allows Congress to enact laws and the President to execute these laws, as mandated by Article 1 and Article 2 of the Constitution. The Republican majority in the House of Representatives has decided to interfere with the authority of Attorney General, who was appointed by President Obama and confirmed by a bipartisan majority of the Senate, to implement policy.

“In addition, the vote to hold Attorney General Holder in contempt indicates that many Republicans in Congress are more interested in preventing President Obama and the officials he has appointed from fulfilling their duties than in talking about the issues that matter to the American people.

“We are not debating proposals to create jobs today. We are not debating immigration reform. Why? Republicans have decided to investigate the internal deliberations of the Department of Justice, a 15-month investigation that has not revealed any misconduct – an investigation by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform with which Attorney General Holder has cooperated.”

“This is not the time for politics or games. We have all taken an oath to serve the American people and today’s vote is a disservice to the women and men whose interests have been repeatedly ignored. I am certain that the millions of Americans who want to restore our economic prosperity, share my disappointment,” concluded Representative Clarke.