Sometime after 10 this morning, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. The vote comes after a closed-door meeting last night between Holder, House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa, R- Calif., where Holder refused to turn over documents subpoenaed by Issa in relation to the Department of Justice’s false (and since retracted) letter denying government whistleblower allegations that DOJ allowed the sale of guns to Mexican cartels as part of their “Fast and Furious” program.
“Today, the Attorney General informed us that the Department would not be producing those documents,” Issa said. “The only offer they made involved us ending our investigation. While I still hope the Department will reconsider its decision so tomorrow’s vote can be postponed, after this meeting I cannot say that I am optimistic.”
Holder had a different story. While he admitted he would not turn over the documents, Holder did say he offered to brief Issa and his staff about what is in the requested documents. “What we asked from the chairman was an indication that if we provided these materials, that would be considered to resolve the subpoenas that were standing,” Holder said. “He’s not indicated the desire to do that at this point. I hope he will change his mind.”
Ranking Member Elijah Cummings, D-Md., and Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the respective leaders of the Senate Oversight Committee also attended the meeting with Issa and Holder. Grassley voiced support for Issa’s tough stance afterward. “The attorney general wants to trade a briefing and the promise of delivering some small, unspecified set of documents tomorrow for a free pass today,” said Grassley in a statement after the meeting. “That’s unacceptable.”
The American people deserve to know what DOJ officials knew about Fast and Furious and when they knew it. Considering both the DOJ’s past retracted letter, as well as Holder’s inaccurate testimony before Congress, Issa would be foolish to accept a briefing in the place of actual evidence. Expect this issue to proceed to the floor of the House sometime next week.
Obama: In Los Cabos, Mexico for the G20 summit, President Obama attacked Mitt Romney for letting one of his campaign advisers, R. Glenn Hubbard, dean of the Columbia Business School, for writing an op-ed in a German newspaper that said, “President Obama’s advice to the Germans and Europe has…the same flaws as his own economic policy — that it pays for itself over the long term if we focus on short-term business promotion.” Obama told reporters in Mexico, “I would point out that we have one president at a time and one administration at a time. And I think traditionally, the notion has been that America’s political differences end at the water’s edge.”
Romney: Labor groups are paying protesters less than minimum wage to heckle Mitt Romney at campaign events.
Veepstakes: Just hours after ABC News reported that Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., was not being vetted for vice president, Romney told reporters that he was.
Television spending: MSNBC’s First Read has a city-by-city break down of where each campaign, and their unaffiliated Super PACs, are spending money on television ads.
Massachusetts Senate: Sen. Scott Brown rejected a debate proposed by Victoria Reggie Kennedy, widow of Senator Edward M. Kennedy, after she refused his precondition that she not endorse a candidate in his reelection campaign against Democrat Elizabeth Warren. “We respect Vicki Kennedy’s decision but we regret that we cannot accept a debate invitation from someone who plans to endorse Scott Brown’s opponent,” Brown Campaign Manager Jim Barnett said in a statement. “The Kennedy Institute cannot hold itself out as a nonpartisan debate sponsor while the president of its board of trustees gets involved in the race on behalf of one of the candidates.”
Around the Bigs
The Washington Post, Fed expected to do more stimulus: The Federal Reserve is expected to extend a program intended to provide a modest push for economic growth by bringing down long-term interest rates at the conclusion of Wednesday’s meeting, according to several economists.
The New York Times, Public Workers Face Continued Layoffs, Hurting the Recovery: Government payrolls grew in the early part of the recovery, largely because of federal stimulus measures. But since its postrecession peak in April 2009 (not counting temporary Census hiring), the public sector has shrunk by 657,000 jobs.
The Los Angeles Times, Advocacy groups concerned about new Asian American study: Several Asian American advocacy groups reacted cautiously Tuesday to a major new study on U.S. Asians, saying it contains important findings but expressing concern that it could be used to perpetuate stereotypes of Asian Americans as high-achieving and with few challenges.
The Wall Street Journal, Spanish Woes Cast Rescue in New Light: The dismal market reaction to the euro zone’s promise to pump as much as €100 billion ($125.75 billion) into shaky Spanish banks—underlined by the high yield the government paid on Tuesday to raise short-term funds—is prompting a rethinking of the rescue’s mechanics, which have heightened worries over Madrid’s ability to repay its debts.
USA Today, Egypt’s Mubarak on life support after stroke: Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak was being kept alive by life support after the 84-year-old ousted leader suffered a stroke in prison Tuesday.
National Journal, Koch Brothers, Cato to Settle Control of Think Tank: The Cato Institute and famed Republican donors Charles and David Koch are set to settle their legal dispute over control of the libertarian think tank. The settlement involves dissolving the shareholder agreement. In addition, Crane is expected to retire under an agreement that allows him to select his successor, though the Koch brothers could veto the hiring.
AEI’s James Pethokoukis identifies some data showing that the U.S. economy may be losing jobs again.
At The Wall Street Journal, Angel Marton Oro, the director of the Economic Trends Reporter at the Juan de Mariana Institute, reports that in 2011, total public-sector spending in Spain was 13 percent higher than it was in 2007.
Sen. Jim DeMint’s, R-S.C., Freedom On Call blog, reports that 60 percent of pro-Obamacare propaganda has been paid for by taxpayers through the Department of Health and Human Services.
ThinkProgress accuses National Review contributor David Yerushalmi of being a white supremacist.
The Washington Post‘s Ezra Klein argues that not raising taxes causes spending and debt to rise.
Crooks and Liars Nicolle Belle thinks MSNBC’s decision to let conservative columnist S.E. Cupp co-host an MSNBC show is “a big step backwards” for the network.