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) CrowleyCynthia Nixon backs primary challenger to Rep. Carolyn Maloney The Hill's Morning Report - McConnell pressures Dem leaders to follow Biden's infrastructure lead The Memo: The center strikes back 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 RyanJuan Williams: Biden's child tax credit is a game-changer Trump clash ahead: Ron DeSantis positions himself as GOP's future in a direct-mail piece Cutting critical family support won't solve the labor crisis MORE (R-Wis.) had pushed him out.

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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 ReedTom ReedThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate path uncertain after House approves Jan. 6 panel Lawmakers brace for battles with colleagues as redistricting kicks off Hundreds of businesses sign on to support LGBTQ rights legislation MORE (N.Y.) — stood with Democrats behind Crowley on the floor.

Republican Reps. Scott TaylorScott William TaylorElaine Luria endorses McAuliffe for governor in Virginia Democratic primary Luria holds onto Virginia House seat Chamber-backed Democrats embrace endorsements in final stretch MORE (Va.) David JoyceDavid JoyceBipartisan lawmakers highlight COVID-19 impact on mental health, addiction The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats await Manchin decision on voting rights bill Porter urges increased budget for children's National Parks program 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.