Eric Holder's Justice Department should not be allowed to use taxpayer funds to lie to Congress about its role in the controversial gun-walking program known as Fast and Furious, Rep. Jason Chaffetz tells Newmax TV.
The Utah Republican introduced an amendment to the Justice Department appropriations bill to cut the money from its budget, which passed the House 381-41 on Wednesday. Also approved was an amendment to cut $1 million from budget for its actions on Fast and Furious.
“You shouldn’t be using federal taxpayer dollars to lie to Congress, Chaffetz said in the exclusive interview. “We still have 40 Democrats or so disagree with that.
See exclusive video here.
"The bottom line is you can’t lie to Congress and when the DOJ sent Congress a letter on February 4, 2011 and then, later — months, months later — had to rescind that because they knew that they had lied to Congress.
"Congress has got to stand up for itself," said the two-term congressman.
“It has to hold the DOJ accountable and they need to fulfill that subpoena. We were trying to reaffirm that the whole notion that the administration needs to come clean on Fast and Furious with that amendment.”
The Fast and Furious scheme was designed to snare drug lords using illegal weapons, but instead allowed thousands of guns to fall into the hands of violent Mexican drug cartels. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed Dec. 14, 2010 with guns linked to the scheme.
Attorney General Holder and his department have come under repeated fired for refusing to hand over thousands of pages of documents relating to the case to congressional inquiries.
Chaffetz, chairman of the Oversight in Government Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations, noted that the government knowingly allowed “2,000 weapons to be poured out into the hands of bad guys, and then have taken no accountability, no responsibility.
“It’s an upper echelon of the DOJ. Nobody’s been fired, in fact, some people were promoted. That’s just totally unacceptable. The president promised on March 25 of last year that he was going to hold somebody accountable, get to the bottom of it, he was going to be open and transparent and none of that has happened.
"That’s what we’re trying to do is get to the bottom of it, hold people accountable, find out the truth and make sure that it never ever happens again.”
On other topics, Chaffetz said:
- He didn’t see the issue of gay marriage, recently endorsed by President Barack Obama, as much of a campaign issue. “It will come and go real quick. It’s not going to be a central theme in the campaign. It’s about jobs, it’s about the economy and it’s about the way President Obama has handled his time in office. It’s really a referendum on Barack Obama. To that degree, I think he’s failed. I think he will be a one-term president.”
- Ex-presidents who are pulling in millions of dollars writing books and giving speeches should not expect to receive millions more in expenses from taxpayers "to propel your own private business and your own private income.” Chaffetz has introduced legislation to limit such funding.
- Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith will not really matter to the electorate. “I guess it’s always part of the question but this has happened time and time again from President Kennedy on forward. We’re breaking new ground. There are new things that are happening but, at the end of the day, they want in the White House a good, honest, decent person who will make the country proud and is proud of the country that isn’t going to be apologizing for the country around the world. That’s what’s going to attract a lot of people to Mitt Romney. “
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