Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida said that it is time for Attorney General Eric Holder to go, joining a growing chorus of Republicans who are angered by Mr. Holder’s continued refusal to turn over documents related to the department’s botched “Fast and Furious” gun-running operation.
The freshman lawmaker said that President Obama’s decision to evoke executive privilege to protect Mr. Holder is “the last straw.”
“We’ve reach the point of no return on this issue,” Mr. Rubio told reporters at a breakfast Thursday morning hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. He said that he felt that GOP lawmakers in the House had provided Mr. Holder plenty of opportunities to hand over the requested documents in such a fashion that it would not jeopardize the executive branch’s investigation. “Evoking executive privilege at the 11th hour as probably the last straw,” he said.
On Wednesday, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee debated for six hours before approving a contempt recommendation along straight party lines.
Committee Chairman Darrell E. Issa of California and 22 other Republicans voted to send the recommendation to the House.
Shortly after the vote, House Speaker John Boehner, Ohio Republican, warned that the full chamber would take up the request next week unless Mr. Holder handed over more documents.
News reports said that Mr. Holder, who is in Copenhagen for meetings with European Union officials, said it is still possible for the two sides to negotiate a deal.
The White House defended the decision to invoke executive privilege, arguing that Mr. Obama has relied on that authority far fewer times than his predecessors.