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 defends decision not to pay dues to House Democratic campaign arm Hill.TV's Krystal Ball says Ocasio-Cortez has become a force in Democratic Party Ocasio-Cortez: 'In any other country Joe Biden and I would not be in the same party' 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 RyanEsper's chief of staff to depart at end of January Latinos say they didn't benefit from Trump tax cuts — here's why Conservative commentator rips Trump's signature tax overhaul: 'It was a big mistake' 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 ReedThomas (Tom) W. ReedTrump's Dingell insults disrupt GOP unity amid impeachment House votes to temporarily repeal Trump SALT deduction cap Trump shocks, earns GOP rebukes with Dingell remarks MORE (N.Y.) — stood with Democrats behind Crowley on the floor.

Republican Reps. Scott TaylorScott William TaylorVulnerable Democrats feel heat ahead of impeachment vote The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - Democrats to release articles of impeachment today Ex-Rep. Scott Taylor to seek old Virginia seat MORE (Va.) David JoyceDavid Patrick JoyceKoch campaign touts bipartisan group behind ag labor immigration bill Keeping your national parks accessible even during a government shutdown Marijuana industry donations to lawmakers surge in 2019: analysis 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.