Jun 11, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: GOP's Garland contempt vote hanging by a thread

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) speaks to reporters as he leaves a weekly news conference on Capitol Hill on June 4, 2024 in Washington, DC.

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) speaks to reporters as he leaves a weekly news conference on Capitol Hill on June 4, 2024 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Andrew Harnik/Getty Images)

A House vote on holding Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress is in severe danger of being pulled by GOP leadership, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Canceling the vote would be a letdown for conservatives who have pounded the table for the vote — and showcases the weakness of Speaker Mike Johnson's (R-La.) thin House majority.

  • Republicans want to hold Garland in contempt for refusing to give Congress the audiotapes of President Biden's interview with former Special Counsel Robert Hur.
  • But the vote is in danger of being pulled off the schedule because Republican sponsors don't have the votes, two House GOP lawmakers and multiple sources told Axios. A vote was expected this week.

The big picture: Republicans are worried that the contempt vote failing could hurt their legal chances of obtaining the tapes in court, one senior House Republican said.

  • Moderates Republicans had raised concerns about holding in Garland in contempt, which is a tough vote for many of them in politically divided districts to take ahead of the November elections.
  • Scrutiny of Garland and the DOJ has been one of House Republicans' top priorities.

The bottom line: Johnson's two-vote majority makes any highly political vote a tough lift for GOP leadership.

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