Rep. Paul Ryan is urging Attorney General Eric Holder to turn over documents related to the federal Fast and Furious gun-trafficking investigation to avoid a vote in the House next week citing him for contempt of Congress.
“Attorney General Eric Holder brought this upon himself,” the Wisconsin Republican told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto Wednesday. “He has been stonewalling Congress for 16 months. And, yes, he can avoid this if he just brings the documents that have been requested.”
Asked about Democratic claims that Republicans are using the threat of contempt to embarrass the Obama administration in an election year, Ryan said, “What is embarrassing is Fast and Furious.”
“It’s something that should never ever happen again, and we need to get to the bottom of it,” said Ryan, who is rumored to be on Mitt Romney’s list of potential vice presidential running mates.
“All Congress is doing, Neil, is its job detailed in the Constitution to conduct oversight of the executive branch,” added Ryan, who chairs the House Budget Committee. “We have a separation of powers for a very important reason. It is to preserve liberty and limits to government. And this is being infringed upon by this stonewalling.”
Asked if he believes the standoff over the documents will escalate to a full-blown “constitutional crisis,” Ryan said, “I don’t know. I think that is up to Attorney General Holder.”
Turning to economic issues, Ryan said House Republicans plan to bring a bill to the floor in July to extend the current code for a year but would also include a “fast-track procedure to actually get fundamental tax reform.”
He reiterated that his own efforts are still focused on lowering tax rates over the long-term for everybody.
“Let’s not forget that our competitors around the world are lowering their tax rates,” he said. “We have one of the most progressive tax systems in the industrialized world. We have among the highest tax rates. And it is putting us at a huge competitive disadvantage. It’s costing jobs and it’s costing growth.”
He said if Democrats get their way, the top tax rate would “go as high as 44.8 percent” next year.
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