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 Politics Archive 2014

The House holds Lois Lerner in Contempt of Congress
by Nathan'ette Burdine: May 8, 2014

The House voted 231-187 to hold Lois Lerner, former IRS attorney, in contempt of Congress. The vote was mostly along party lines, with the exception of the six Democrats who voted with the Republicans.

The six Democrats who voted with the Republicans were Reps. John Barrow (D-GA), Ron Barber (D-AZ), Mike McIntyre (D-NC), Patrick Murphy (D-FL), Collin C. Peterson (D-MN), and Nick Rahall (D-WV).

There was an earlier vote to send the contempt charge back to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

The vote failed 191-224, with Democrats voting in favor and Republicans plus one Democrat, Rep. John Barrow (D-GA), voting against it.

The House also voted 250-168, with 26 Democrats joining with the Republicans, to have U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder appoint a special attorney to investigate the IRS scandal.

Both votes came a week after Judicial Watch released new emails between Lerner and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Prior to the contempt vote, Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) told Fox News that the recently released emails showed that the IRS and the DOJ were using the “threat” of prosecution in order to scare conservative groups into not filing for non-profit tax status.

DeSantis also said that a contempt vote from the House was the only option available due to Holder’s denial of the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Oversight and Governance Committee’s requests to hold Lerner in contempt.

Last Monday, the Daily Caller reported that Lerner’s attorney, Bill Taylor, asked House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) not to file contempt charges against Lerner because the charges “would be unfair, and indeed, un-American.”

After the contempt vote, Speaker Boehner issued a statement. In the statement, Boehner said that Lois Lerner had “violated” the “trust” of the American because she unfairly targeted “certain groups” due to their “political beliefs.”

Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Democratic Whip, responded in a statement that Lerner’s problem was not “partisan politics” but her inability to manage.

Hoyer also stated that the votes on the resolutions were “meant to generate headlines” and is “partisan election-year gimmicks.”

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