Minnesota Congressmen Tim Walz and Collin Peterson were among the 17 Democrats who voted with the Republican majority Thursday to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress in the investigation of the “Fast and Furious” gun trafficking scandal.
Both are endorsed by the NRA, and the Washington Post said the giant gun-lobbying organization would be monitoring the vote to determine future endorsements.
In a statement after the vote, Walz said:
“I’ve long had concerns about the ‘Fast and Furious’ program. It was poorly conceived, unacceptable mistakes were made, and questions were left unanswered. It is the responsibility of Congress to conduct oversight and to ensure transparency that is needed to protect the integrity of our democracy. To do its job, Congress must have access to all of the information it needs to make independent, sound judgments on behalf of the American people.
“Five years ago, when I voted to hold President Bush’s Administration Officials in contempt, I said we have to stay consistent in our oversight of executive branch officials. After reviewing the facts carefully, I came to the same conclusions as I did in 2007. There are just too many unanswered questions surrounding “Fast and Furious,” and the American people deserve to know more. Therefore, I will support the vote to hold the Attorney General in contempt for failure to provide requested information.”
Peterson’s office had confirmed, before the vote, that he would support the contempt measure.
The state’s other two Democrats in Congress, Betty McCollum and Keith Ellison, were part of a mass exodus of Democrats who walked out of the chambers in protest, and didn’t vote.
All four state Republican representatives — Michele Bachmann, Erik Paulsen, Chip Cravaack and John Kline — voted yes on the contempt vote.