House rejects measure to set up panel to investigate chaplain's dismissal
© Greg Nash

The House rejected a resolution on Friday that would have set up a select committee to investigate Patrick Conroy’s dismissal as House chaplain.

In a 215-171 mostly party-line vote, the House turned aside the measure from House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe CrowleyJoseph (Joe) CrowleyOcasio-Cortez throws support to Sanders at Queens rally Ocasio-Cortez, Monica Lewinsky empathize with Meghan Markle's 'sudden prominence' Krystal Ball reacts to Ocasio-Cortez endorsing Sanders: 'Class power over girl power' MORE’s (N.Y.), who argued it was necessary to look into the “motivations and actions” behind Conroy’s dismissal.

Conroy announced his retirement as chaplain earlier this month, a decision most members thought was voluntary until Thursday, when it emerged that Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanAmash: Trump incorrect in claiming Congress didn't subpoena Obama officials Democrats hit Scalia over LGBTQ rights Three-way clash set to dominate Democratic debate MORE (R-Wis.) had pushed him out.


Ryan told GOP lawmakers during a meeting on Friday that politics did not play a role in the dismissal, saying that Conroy had not met the “pastoral needs” of lawmakers.

Democrats have said that they believe Conroy was pushed out at least in part because of a prayer perceived as critical of the GOP tax law, a sentiment the former chaplain also echoed in an interview with The New York Times.

Ryan told Republicans that the chaplain’s exit did not have anything to do with the prayer.

Crowley said Conroy’s dismissal was “not reflective of the integrity of the House.”

A few Republicans offered support for Crowley’s resolution, and two — GOP Reps. Pat MeehanPatrick (Pat) Leo MeehanBottom line Freshman lawmaker jokes about pace of Washington politics Many authors of GOP tax law will not be returning to Congress MORE (Pa.) and Tom ReedThomas (Tom) W. ReedNo Labels' fight against partisanship 25 years of championing successful community development Overnight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Walmart to stop selling e-cigarettes | Senators press FDA to pull most e-cigarettes immediately | House panel tees up e-cig hearing for next week MORE (N.Y.) — stood with Democrats behind Crowley on the floor.

Republican Reps. Scott TaylorScott William TaylorDemocratic lawmaker invites Republican to town hall after he accuses her of dodging voters on impeachment Former GOP rep launches Senate campaign in Virginia Virginia special prosecutor indicts former GOP campaign staffer MORE (Va.) David JoyceDavid Patrick JoyceKeeping your national parks accessible even during a government shutdown Marijuana industry donations to lawmakers surge in 2019: analysis The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump issues Taliban warning at Sept. 11 memorial MORE (Ohio) and Thomas Rooney (Fla.) voted present. 

Crowly said he will push for more answers when lawmakers return from recess. 

"Well I think that we have time to discuss it amongst our colleagues and when we get back there'll be further action," he told The Hill. 

The New York Democrat said he hasn't spoken to Ryan about Conroy since the news broke, but attempted to find him on the House floor Thursday to discuss the situation.

—Melanie Zanona contributed.