In a targeted swipe against Attorney General Eric Holder, Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) announced legislation Tuesday that would prohibit federal employees found in contempt of Congress from receiving government paychecks.
Holder was held in contempt by House Republicans in 2012 for his non-compliance in releasing documents related to the Fast and Furious program, a botched federal gun-walking operation. Holder is the first sitting cabinet member in U.S. history to be found in contempt.
"My bill will at least prevent current and future federal employees, like Attorney General Holder, from continuing to collect their taxpayer-paid salaries while held in contempt of Congress," Farenthold said in a statement announcing the "Contempt Act."
Farenthold refused to question Holder during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on April 8, arguing that any other member of the public who refused to comply with a Justice Department subpoena "would be in jail."
"The American people should not be footing the bill for federal employees who stonewall Congress or rewarding government officials’ bad behavior," Farenthold said of his legislation.
The bill, officially introduced on Thursday, would suspend officials' pay until the "date on which a resolution revoking such contempt is adopted by the House or Senate (as the case may be)."
In November, a group of 11 hard-line House Republicans, including Farenthold, attempted to impeach Holder for not complying with their congressional subpoena for Fast and Furious documents, among other allegations.