WASHINGTON – The House is preparing to vote on holding a former Internal Revenue Service official in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify at a pair of committee hearings about her role in the agency's tea party controversy.
Lois Lerner directed the IRS division that processes applications for tax-exempt status. A year ago, Lerner publicly disclosed that agents had improperly singled out tea party applications for extra, sometimes burdensome scrutiny.
An inspector general's report blamed poor management but found no evidence of a political conspiracy. Many Republicans in Congress believe otherwise.
House Democrats say Wednesday's vote is little more than an election-year ploy to fire up the GOP base.
The measure is expected to pass the Republican-controlled House, sending the matter to the local U.S. attorney.