Repub­li­can deal averts vote on im­peach­ing direc­tor of IRS

Baltimore Sun - - NATION & WORLD -

WASH­ING­TON — A last-minute deal be­tween con­ser­va­tives and GOP lead­ers in the House averted votes ex­pected Thurs­day on a mea­sure to im­peach the com­mis­sioner of the IRS.

In­stead, IRS Com­mis­sioner John Kosk­i­nen will tes­tify be­fore Con­gress next week.

The con­ser­va­tive House Free­dom Cau­cus cel­e­brated the de­vel­op­ment as a vic­tory, as con­ser­va­tives had long pushed GOP lead­ers for im­peach­ment hear­ings against Kosk­i­nen. They ac­cuse him of ob­struct­ing a con­gres­sional in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the treat­ment of tea party groups seeking tax ex­emp­tions.

But the agree­ment can­cel­ing the votes came only af­ter con­ser­va­tives them­selves pre­dicted that their im­peach­ment res­o­lu­tion was go­ing to get side­lined by Demo­cratic and Repub­li­can op­po­si­tion Thurs­day. So in­stead they set­tled for a hear­ing next Wed­nes­day, which would re­sult in an im­peach­ment vote only af­ter the Novem­ber pres­i­den­tial election, if ever.

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis­con­sin wel­comed the res­o­lu­tion, say­ing that it “was a good way to work things out.” Nei­ther Ryan nor other House GOP lead­ers had em­braced the im­peach­ment push, but Ryan, who needs to main­tain con­ser­va­tive sup­port, had also avoided pub­licly crit­i­ciz­ing the move.

How­ever, it would take only one ag­grieved con­ser­va­tive to re­vive the im­peach­ment on the House floor, so the deal does not defini­tively rule out a vote be­fore the election.

Kosk­i­nen has dis­puted the al­le­ga­tions against him in pri­vate meet­ings with House Repub­li­cans in re­cent days.

The orig­i­nal con­duct the House was in­ves­ti­gat­ing, re­lated to how tea party groups were dealt with by the IRS, hap­pened be­fore Kosk­i­nen’s ten­ure.

GETTY-AFP

Res­i­dents clean up a flooded street Thurs­day in south­east­ern Xi­a­men, China, af­ter a pow­er­ful typhoon swept ashore Thurs­day af­ter hit­ting Tai­wan, leav­ing a to­tal of two dead and dozens in­jured.

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