Eric Holder in contempt: Voting 255-67, members held Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for refusing to provide a House committee with certain subpoenaed documents related to the “Fast and Furious” gun-walking fiasco, which is linked to a U.S. border agent’s murder in 2010. President Barack Obama has invoked executive privilege to protect the documents from House investigators. A yes vote backed the contempt citation. (H Res 711)
Frank LoBiondo, R-2nd: YES
Jon Runyan, R-3rd: YES
Bid for Mukasey testimony: Members defeated, 172-251, a Democratic bid for testimony on U.S. gun operations in Mexico from Michael Mukasey, President George W. Bush’s last attorney general, who received a briefing paper in 2007 that mentioned the tactics. House Republicans have not called him as a witness. A yes vote backed the bid during debate on H Res 711.
Bid to rebuke Issa: Members tabled, 259-161, a bid by Democrats for the House to formally disapprove of the way Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., has directed a committee probe that led to Holder being held in contempt of Congress. A no vote was to rebuke Issa, in part for his having publicly accused Holder of lying without offering corroborating evidence. (H Res 718)
Judgment against Holder: Members authorized, 258-95, the hiring of outside counsel to seek a declaratory court judgment to enforce a criminal contempt citation against Holder. A yes vote backed H Res 706 on grounds that the Justice Department is unlikely to enforce the citation against its chief.
Roads, loans, insurance: Members voted 373-52 to fund road and transit programs at $109 billion until October 2014, freeze interest on new student loans at 3.4 percent until July 2013 and renew National Flood Insurance with a higher debt limit until October 2017. A yes vote was to send HR 4348 to the Senate.
Air-service subsidies: Members refused, 164-238, to defund and thus kill the Essential Air Service program, which subsidizes daily flights to 120 small cities and rural outposts nationwide. A yes vote was to end a program expected to receive a $114 million appropriation in 2013. (HR 5972)
Public-housing budget: Members refused, 160-264, to cut $562 million, or 12 percent, from the $4.7 billion fiscal 2013 budget for operating expenses at the nation’s 14,000 public-housing developments in 3,500 communities. A yes vote supported the proposed budget cut. (HR 5972)
Drug-safety funding: Senators expanded, 92-4, the Food and Drug Administration’s budget and powers for assuring the safety of U.S. pharmaceuticals and medical devices. A yes vote was to send Obama a bill assessing $6 billion in user fees on firms seeking FDA approval of their drugs and devices. (S 3187)
Robert Menendez, D: YES
Frank Lautenberg, D: YES
Renewal of major laws: Senators sent Obama, 74-19, a bill, HR 4348 (see vote above), projected to add or retain 2.7 million construction jobs in the transportation sector, hold down college borrowing costs and boost housing sales by renewing National Flood Insurance. A yes vote was to pass the bill.
Source: Voterama in Congress