Republicans

Huelskamp may force impeachment vote against IRS chief despite deal

Rep. Louie Gohmert, (R-Texas), with the latest on the investigation into the IRS targeting scandal.

 

One of the authors of impeachment articles against IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said Thursday that he could move to hold a House floor vote on the issue next week, scuppering an agreement among House Republicans to postpone the potentially divisive action.

The agreement announced late Wednesday called for the House Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing next week, which would result in an impeachment vote only after the November presidential election, if ever.

However, Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., told Bloomberg that he was not aware of any pact to put off the vote until November.

"We will wait one more week to have a hearing," Huelskamp said. "I plan on having a vote next week." 

Some Republicans, led by the conservative House Freedom Caucus, accuse Koskinen of obstructing a congressional investigation into the treatment of tea party groups seeking tax exemptions. Koskinen has disputed the allegations against him in private meetings with House Republicans in recent days, while the agency insisted Wednesday that he "remains focused on the critical work needed for the nation's tax system."

Huelskamp, a lame duck member of Congress after losing his re-election primary last month, has long been a thorn in the side of leadership, to the extent that former Speaker John Boehner stripped him of his seat on the House Agriculture Committee. 

"This really shows poor taste,” one Freedom Caucus member told Fox of Huelskamp's threat. "It would hurt our case tremendously. Hopefully cooler heads will prevail."

Rep. John Fleming, R-La., another ringleader of the impeachment effort, called the agreement a "win-win for everybody."

"Ultimately, we get the hearing, we get the information, and hopefully we'll have more disclosures that tell us it's important to go ahead and end this man's tenure as head of the IRS," Fleming said. 

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., welcomed the resolution, telling journalists Thursday 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.

Fox News' Chad Pergram and the Associated Press contributed to this report.