‘Fast and Furious’ provision clears Senate

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) has proposed legislation that would end Fast and Furious and bar new gun-tracking operations.
(Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)
Washington Bureau

In a stinging rebuke of the Obama administration and Attorney General Eric H. Holder, an amendment to prevent the Justice Department from conducting any future gun-tracking operations such as the failed “Fast and Furious” program in the future sailed unanimously through the Senate Tuesday.

The vote, on an amendment to a DOJ funding bill offered by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), was 99-0.

Cornyn proposed legislation that would end Fast and Furious and bar new gun-tracking operations. The Fast and Furious program was shut down in January of this year after it was disclosed that illegally purchased guns that had been intended to be tracked to and later used as evidence to prosecute Mexican drug cartels had been lost. Cornyn is trying to attach his bill to a spending package making its way through the Senate that includes annual funding for the Department of Justice.

“We must do everything possible to ensure that such a reckless and ill-advised operation like Fast and Furious is not repeated,” Cornyn said.

Full coverage: ATF’s Fast and Furious scandal

The gun-tracking operation has been in the GOP’s sights ever since problems with the program came to light. The program run out of the Phoenix office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives sought to track the guns that were being purchased in the U.S., but many of the weapons were lost. Several showed up at crime scenes on both sides of the border.

Republican House leaders recently subpoenaed documents from Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. demanding more information. Holder has testified that he knew only broadly of the program before the problems became public.