Political Editors / December 7, 2016

No Accountability (Yet) for IRS, Koskinen

GOP-lead House delays impeachment vote for political targeting.

On Tuesday, the House voted against impeaching IRS Commissioner John Koskinen and referred the matter to the Judiciary Committee. This decision allows Koskinen to continue leading the IRS, effectively delaying any potential accountability for the beleaguered commissioner. Conservative representatives quickly voiced their opposition to the House’s decision. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) said, “We think Mr. Koskinen has to go. Koskinen [was] brought in to clean up the mess, and he has done, in my judgment, just the opposite.” That “mess” being the political targeting of conservative groups that continues to this day.

Republican Study Committee Chairman Bill Flores (R-TX) emphasized why the House should have voted to hold Koskinen accountable, stating, “IRS Commissioner Koskinen has willfully misled Congress, refused to comply with House subpoenas, and violated the trust of the American people. Commissioner Koskinen should be impeached and removed from office.”

While the IRS’s Tea Party targeting scandal did not start during his watch, Koskinen has done little to nothing to clean up the corruption. In fact, he has proven to act mostly as a roadblock to Congress’s investigation of the scandal. The GOP-lead House’s failure to even hold a vote to impeach Koskinen means that the IRS chief will still be heading the agency during most of the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency, as his term isn’t up until November 2017.

However, several Republicans argued that the decision was simply a postponement to allow for the incoming Congress to take up the issue and vote on it. While it remains to be seen if that indeed will be the case, it does leave one wondering if this isn’t yet another example of Congress merely kicking an uncomfortable issue further down the road. If it is, Koskinen will enjoy a cozy retirement just like Lois Lerner.

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