House conservatives move to force impeachment vote for IRS chief

IRS 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

  • The debate stems from the probe into whether the IRS improperly targeted conservative groups
  • House GOP members are divided on whether or not Koskinen should be impeached

Washington (CNN)Conservative House Republicans pressed a resolution Tuesday that forces a House vote to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.

Louisiana GOP Rep. John Fleming‎ went to the House floor and notified members that he intended to call up a so-called "privileged resolution." Under House rules, the body has to take action on the measure within two legislative days and it's likely leaders will wait until Thursday to act on the matter.
    Fleming, who is running in a crowded field for the Senate, told reporters at a forum with other House conservatives on Tuesday that Americans have become frustrated with his own party "because they unwilling or unable to hold high-level officials accountable for their actions‎."
    House GOP members are divided on whether or not Koskinen should be impeached. Some believe it would set a bad precedent since he was not at the agency at the time time allegations surfaced that some IRS officials targeted tea party and conservative groups.
    Many prefer that any impeachment proceeding should first go through the House Judiciary Committee, the panel with jurisdiction over accusations of wrongdoing by government executives.
    But many House Freedom Caucus members say Koskinen deserves to lose his job because he headed the agency when materials requested by Congress on the investigation were destroyed.
    House Speaker Paul Ryan already scheduled a meeting with all House Republicans for Thursday morning to discuss the issue.
    If the GOP-led House does pass the resolution, it's unlikely the Senate will take up the issue. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is eager to wrap up business on a legislative package to fund government agencies and Zika efforts and let members go home and campaign ahead of the fall election.