House defeats motion to impeach IRS commissioner Koskinen

A move spearheaded by House Freedom Caucus members to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen hit an obstacle Tuesday when a floor vote proposal was roundly defeated by the count of 342–72.

The issue was subsequently referred to the Judiciary Committee, which is not obligated to bring up the motion.

The resolution to remove the embattled IRS commissioner was sponsored by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio); House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), backed the motion to hand the matter over to his committee.

Long a target of the conservative Freedom Caucus and Rep. Jordan, Koskinen has avoided impeachment due to stiff resistance from Goodlatte, who has long contended efforts to oust the commissioner lack substance.

At issue is Jordan and the Freedom Caucus’ assertions Koskinen failed to act as IRS employees destroyed records and erased back-up tapes following revelations agency employees had sought to delay or deny conservative groups tax-exempt status. Some GOP House members have accused Koskinen of making false statements in front of Congress.

In no mood to intrude on the next Congress’ agenda, House Speaker Paul Ryan spokeswoman, AshLee Strong, responded to the motion’s defeat and 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, whose term as IRS commissioner ends in November 2017, has said the charges against him “lack merit,” but also stated he would step down if asked by the president.

 

[The Hill] [Photo courtesy Joe Raedle/Getty Images via Politico]