WASHINGTON — The House voted Thursday to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress over his failure to turn over documents related to the Fast and Furious scandal.

WASHINGTON — The House voted Thursday to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress over his failure to turn over documents related to the Fast and Furious scandal.

Rep. Mike Ross, D-Prescott, was one of 17 Democrats to join Republicans in voting to take such an action against a sitting Cabinet official.

“I believe the people of Arkansas and our nation deserve answers to questions regarding the unsuccessful “Operation Fast and Furious” gun-tracking program,” Ross said in a statement. “I recognize that holding the Attorney General in contempt of Congress is a serious and significant action, but in this case, it is necessary because the failures resulted in the loss of the life of a U.S. border patrol agent.”

Ross said that death alone requires “a full and transparent investigation” that is not possible if documents are withheld.

Reps. Steve Womack, R-Rogers, Tim Griffin, R-Little Rock, and Rick Crawford, R-Jonesboro, also voted in favor of holding Holder in contempt.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has spent 16 months investigating the Fast and Furious program. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who chairs the committee, subpoenaed the Justice Department last October for documents.

More than 7,600 pages have been turned over but Issa said key documents have not been released.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the ranking member of the House oversight and Government Reform Committee, said that Holder had been cooperative.

The vote was 255-67 with many Democrats walking out of the chamber in protest. Oklahoma Rep. Dan Boren, R-Muskogee, also voted to hold the Attorney General in contempt.

White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer issued a statement shortly after the vote calling it “political theater” staged by Republican partisans intent on holding President Barack Obama to a single term in office.