Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller said that his report doesn’t exonerate President Donald Trump.
Judiciary Committee Democrats referred the contempt resolution to the full House after the attorney general failed to produce the unredacted Mueller report.
The former White House counsel was asked to turn over documents by Tuesday.
The attorney general’s failure to comply with a subpoena "leaves us no choice," said Rep. Jerry Nadler, chair of the House Judiciary Committee.
“We will have no choice but to move quickly to hold the attorney general in contempt if he stalls or fails to negotiate in good faith," Rep. Jerry Nadler said.
The attorney general’s cancellation meant he would avoid another round of sharp questioning.
The Department of Justice said Barr would not be attending the hearing on his summary of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.
"We're going to see where the facts lead us," said Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
The Judiciary Committee plans to investigate charges of obstruction of justice against the president that were laid out in the redacted Mueller report.
It "falls to Congress to determine the full scope of that alleged misconduct and to decide what steps we must take going forward,” Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler said.