House conservatives try to force vote to oust IRS commissioner

Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen listens to a question from the press after speaking during a luncheon at the National Press Club March 24, 2016, in Washington, D.C.

Story highlights

  • Conservatives have long pushed for Koskinen's ouster following allegations of IRS targeting tea party and conservative groups
  • It's unclear when any floor vote will happen, but it is likely to be pushed to September

Washington (CNN)House conservatives, frustrated that House Speaker Paul Ryan won't commit to a floor vote to impeach the head of the IRS, worked to force a vote Wednesday.

Two members of the House Freedom Caucus, Rep. John Fleming, R-Louisiana and Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kansas, co-authored a resolution that would require a vote on the measure to remove IRS Commissioner John Koskinen on the House floor.
    Politico first reported on the move by the conservatives.
    Some Republicans have called for Koskinen's removal from office in the wake of allegations that the IRS improperly targeted tea party and other conservative groups, although Koskinen joined the agency after the controversy came to light.
    Critics said Koskinen allowed back-up tapes containing potentially 24,000 emails to be destroyed while failing to inform Congress of the destruction of the tapes in a timely manner.
    The Justice Department in October closed its two-year investigation into the case, declining to bring charges against anyone at the agency.
    The House Judiciary Committee has held a hearing on a GOP resolution to impeach Koskinen, but conservatives have pressed leadership to move the issue from the committee to the House floor. But they have yet to secure a commitment as Republican leaders continue to discuss the precedent it would set. With an upcoming extended summer recess scheduled to start at the end of the week, the Freedom Caucus members grew impatient and took the procedural step to bring up the issue on the House floor.
    "I thank my colleagues John Fleming and Tim Huelskamp for their resolution to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. Mr. Koskinen has failed the American people through gross negligence, dereliction of duty, and violating the public trust," House Freedom Caucus Chair Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said in a written statement.
    It's unclear when any floor vote would happen, but it is likely to be pushed to September. A senior House leadership aide told CNN the measure wasn't submitted as a "privileged resolution," so it doesn't require any immediate action.
    Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong said they "expect the full conference to discuss the appropriate path ahead when we get back into session."