The mostly partisan vote of 255-67 marked the first time a sitting attorney general and presidential Cabinet member was cited for contempt by the full House, Reuters reported.
Many Democrats refused to cast votes, and Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi led many of her colleagues in a walkout from the House floor in protest.
Republican Representative Darrell Issa, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, called the Arizona law enforcement operation “reckless.”
Issa added the contempt vote was being held “because when we asked legitimate questions … about Fast and Furious, we were lied to. We were lied to repeatedly and over a 10-month period.”
Pelosi accused Republicans of using the election-year contempt charge to undermine Holder’s efforts to combat voter suppression in some states.
“This is something that makes a witch hunt look like a day at the beach,” Pelosi told reporters. “It is a railroading of a (contempt) resolution that is unsubstantiated by the facts.”
The tussle between the Obama administration and House Republicans is over the release of a series of documents dating from February 4, 2011, when the Justice Department initially denied that guns were being allowed to “walk” into Mexico.