House rejects GOP rep's push for vote on impeaching IRS head

House rejects GOP rep's push for vote on impeaching IRS head
© Greg Nash
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) on Tuesday moved to force a floor vote on a resolution to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, but the House rejected the push, voting to refer it to committee.
 
Jordan, the outgoing House Freedom Caucus chairman, gave notice on a privileged resolution to impeach Koskinen.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
But the House voted overwhelmingly to refer it to the Judiciary Committee, 342-72. All the nay votes were Republicans.
 
The committee will not be required to take up the resolution.
 
AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanWho should be the Democratic vice presidential candidate? The Pelosi administration It's not populism that's killing America's democracy MORE (R-Wis.) said "the majority of the House voted to refer this matter to the Judiciary Committee consistent with regular order because it would have triggered automatic consideration lasting into next year, filling up weeks of floor time and crippling our ability to hit the ground running on Trump administration confirmations and ObamaCare repeal."

Koskinen's term ends in November 2017, though he has said that he would step down sooner if asked to by the incoming president.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteUSCIS chief Cuccinelli blames Paul Ryan for immigration inaction Immigrant advocacy groups shouldn't be opposing Trump's raids Top Republican releases full transcript of Bruce Ohr interview MORE (R-Va.) made the motion to refer the measure. 

He asked that the resolution be sent to his committee to address members' differing opinions about how to address the allegations against Koskinen and to make sure the House "administers due process in these deliberations."

Earlier, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) made a motion to table the resolution, which the House voted against by a 180-235 margin, mostly along party lines. Only two Republicans voted with the Democrats in favor of tabling: Don YoungDonald (Don) Edwin YoungDon Young dismissed 'beer virus,' told seniors to 'go forth with everyday activities' Pelosi stands firm amid calls to close Capitol Pelosi rejects calls to shutter Capitol: 'We are the captains of this ship' MORE of Alaska and Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania.

Caroline Behringer, a spokeswoman for Pelosi, said that the Freedom Caucus was "doing President-elect Trump’s dirty work for him."
 
"Breaking from their own leadership and regular order, the Republicans’ latest quest to impeach the IRS commissioner comes as the president-elect remains under audit by the IRS,” she said.
 
Before Jordan started reading aloud the resolution, he and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) were both positioned at microphones four feet away from each other but avoided each other's eyes. When Jordan started to speak, Democrats booed. 
 
“You might want to listen to what we say first, then you can moan and groan,” Jordan replied. He then read the text of the resolution, which accuses Koskinen of improprieties during congressional investigations into the IRS's handling of Tea Party groups' applications for tax-exempt status.
 
Freedom Caucus members have sought to impeach Koskinen for months. But their efforts had not received the support of House Republican leadership.
 
Outgoing Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.), a member of the Freedom Caucus, expressed his disappointment with the vote.
 
"DC Establishment uses procedural vote to defeat impeachment and protect #IRS and keep Koskinen in his job," he tweeted.
 
"Message from US House to Obama's #IRS. Keep up the great work...," he added in another tweet.
 
Koskinen has said that the allegations against him lack merit. One of his personal lawyers on Tuesday said that the resolution should be opposed because there have not been formal impeachment hearings.
 
-Cristina Marcos contributed reporting
 
Updated at 6:31 p.m.