Black Lawmakers Plot 'Walkout Strategy' During Holder Contempt Vote
The Congressional Black Caucus has called a members-only "emergency" meeting on Thursday to plot a "walkout strategy" ahead of the scheduled contempt vote of Attorney General Eric Holder later in the day.
The plans, detailed in an email from the executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus obtained by the Alley, include circulating a letter disapproving of the vote and having lawmakers walk out of the Capitol to hold a press conference during the roll call.
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The letter, a draft of which is being circulated for signatures, accuses the GOP leadership of "rushing recklessly to a contempt vote." The letter is being circulated among the Black, Hispanic, Asian and Progressive caucuses, among other.
"We cannot and will not participate in a vote to hold the Attorney General in contempt," says the letter, in which the signers urge that "all members of Congress to stand with us during a press conference on the Capitol Building steps during this appalling series of votes to discuss our nation's most significant priority--creating jobs."
The House is expected to vote on Thursday hold Holder in contempt of Congress for refusing to release certain documents related to the failed "Fast and Furious" gun-running program.
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At moments, the fight has taken on racial undertones, most notably when Holder, who is African American, told the New York Times in December 2011 that he served as a stand-in for GOP attacks on President Obama. "This is a way to get at the president because of the way I can be identified with him," Holder said, "both due to the nature of our relationship and, you know, the fact that we're both African-American."
A copy of the full draft letter is below: