To Impeach or Not to Impeach: House Votes This Week on IRS Impeachment

Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen testifies under subpoena before the House Oversight Committee as lawmakers continue their probe of whether tea party groups were improperly targeted for increased scrutiny by the IRS, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, June 23, 2014. The sign in the background was displayed by the Republican majority staff of the committee. The IRS asserts it can't produce emails from seven officials connected to the tea party investigation because of computer crashes, including the emails from Lois Lerner, the former IRS official at the center of the investigation. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

And the vote had better come back to the affirmative.

Rep. Jim Jordan announced Tuesday he will introduced a resolution today to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, setting up a vote this week in the House on impeachment.

“John Koskinen needs to be held accountable,” the Ohio Republican said at a forum hosted by Judicial Watch. “Later today on the House floor, we will make the motion to impeach Mr. Koskinen.”

The goal is to get the vote in before lawmakers close up shop for the remainder of 2016.

If lawmakers challenged it — for example, by making a motion to table it — a vote would be held on that motion, and that vote would essentially become a proxy vote for impeachment.

A simple majority is all that is needed to move on impeachment. If they vote to impeach, the Senate then will be required to hold a trial to convict, and then remove Koskinen from office.

What complicates the matter is the notion that Democrats would ever support such a move.

They won’t.

Republicans, on the other hand, have doubts as to if Koskinen’s actions rise to the required level for ousting an official with the administration.

After two hearings by the House Judiciary Committee, the lack of a vote to impeach has left some Republican lawmakers dissatisfied.

“We need to clean house, especially at the IRS,” outgoing Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., recently told the Examiner.

Huelskamp said Koskinen could pre-empt a vote by announcing he will retire when Republican President-elect Donald Trump takes office in January. But Koskinen has made no move to leave his post, and his term expires Nov. 2017.

The conflict over actions that should be taken seems to be between Republican leadership and the conservative faction of the party.

The leaders of the party are attempting to presumably save face by avoiding a hearing on impeachment, while conservatives are unlikely to settle for anything less.

This year, GOP leaders held off an impeachment vote by agreeing to hold an impeachment hearing in the House Judiciary Committee which featured Koskinen’s testimony under oath. But conservatives said Koskinen only reinforced their belief that he should be ousted from the IRS.

At this point, conservative groups that found themselves on the business end of a weaponized IRS are very likely on the side of conservative lawmakers, who want to see decisive action taken against Koskinen.

In the meantime, enjoy this blast from the past.

I can’t watch it without feeling warm and fuzzy inside.