House passes measure to cut Justice salaries until questions are answered

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C. Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C. Oversight Committee

The House of Representatives has passed a motion by voice vote to cut $1 million from the Justice Department’s general administration fund until officials fully answers the Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s questions regarding the infamous Fast and Furious gunrunning operation that lasted from 2006 to 2011.

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., introduced the amendment to cut the salaries of top Justice officials, including Attorney General Eric Holder, whom the Oversight Committee has sought to hold in contempt of Congress for withholding information. Justice’s general administration fund encompasses four units, including department leadership, public affairs and the Office of Professional Responsibility. It supports the salaries of low-level staff members as well as senior executives.

A spokesman for Gowdy’s office said the cut is aimed at senior-level officials.

“Rep. Gowdy does not hold low-level employees accountable and is not going after their salaries. The Justice Department must administer the cut, and if DOJ chooses to punish the low-level staff, that is a DOJ decision,” the spokesman wrote in an email to Government Executive.

The $1 million would reroute to Congress’ Spending Reduction Account, which works to pay down the national debt, according to Gowdy’s spokesman.

“This is not about politics to me,” Gowdy said during his floor speech Monday for the amendment. “It’s about respect for the rule of law. It’s about answers, it’s about accountability, it’s about acceptance of responsibility.”

During his floor speech, Gowdy listed five questions he seeks answers for regarding Fast and Furious, including who approved the operation and why the department sent a letter to Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, denying it. The program allowed more than a thousand guns to end up in the wrong hands along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Justice did not respond to requests for comment.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.