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House Speaker John Boehner is pressing forward with a vote Thursday to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt—and he appears to be making inroads into winning the support of at least a handful of Democrats who are facing tough reelection contests at home.
Already, four House Democrats have suggested that they'll break ranks and join Republicans to vote against Holder for his refusal to turn over documents related to Operation Fast and Furious.
Rep. Jim Matheson of Utah was the first to cross the party line, announcing his intention on Tuesday. Matheson, the New York Times reminds us, is running for reelection in the country’s most Republican district currently represented by a Democrat.
Reps. John Barrow of Georgia, Nick Rahall of West Virginia and Collin Peterson of Minnesota have also suggested they'll vote with Republicans. Citing unnamed sources, Fox News reports that when all is said and done, as many as 20 House Democrats may cross the party line.
All four were among the 31 Democrats who sent a letter to Obama last year expressing their concern over how the botched gun-walking operation was handled.
Making things more difficult for Democrats in conservative districts is the fact that the National Rifle Association plans to use the contempt vote on its influential congressional "scorecard," which carries a fair amount of weight for some voters. "There are some members who will consider the recommendations of the NRA," House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer told Politico.