WASHINGTON, Sept. 13 (UPI) -- A conservative lawmaker in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday moved to try and force a vote on the potential impeachment of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen this week.
Koskinen is still under fire over the agency's 2013 targeting scandal that involved extra scrutiny for conservative groups, like the Tea Party, in their applications for tax-exempt status.
Tuesday, Rep. John Fleming, R-La., a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, called up a tactic called a "privileged resolution" that seeks to require House leaders act on the matter by Thursday.
Several Republican lawmakers have advocated Koskinen's removal from office as IRS director.
"For years the IRS has abused its power to target people based on their political views. Commissioner John Koskinen not only did nothing about it, but continued the trend of deception by deliberately keeping Congress and the American people in the dark," Fleming said in a statement Tuesday. "To date no one has been held accountable and no one will unless we move forward with a resolution to require a vote on his impeachment.
"Congress will vote in two days. ... The Department of Justice won't do its job so it's essential Congress step in."
The House, however, does have other options.
The matter can be referred to the House Judiciary Committee if lawmakers are reluctant to hold such a drastic vote, particularly so close to an election. The committee typically has jurisdiction over impeachment proceedings.
Lawmakers could also decide that Fleming's motion does not meet the requirements for a privileged resolution, and the effort would be dead.
Earlier this summer, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted to censure Koskinen over the scandal, but has not acted to remove him.
Koskinen was not yet IRS commissioner when the alleged targeting occurred, but he did preside over the agency during the federal investigation that followed. The Justice Department ultimately concluded there was no evidence to file charges in the case.
Experts believe the chances of Koskinen's removal as IRS commissioner are slim. The House, they argue, could very well vote to impeach -- but the effort would likely find greater resistance in the Senate, where leaders have not expressed much interest in the impeachment effort.
"They're wasting time on a baseless partisan witch hunt to impeach the IRS commissioner that won't succeed," Democratic New York Sen. Chuck Schumer said Tuesday. "We have real emergencies in this country."
"The effort to impeach Commissioner Koskinen is completely baseless," the U.S. Treasury Department also said recently. "Not only is Commissioner Koskinen a strong leader, he is a man of the highest integrity with steadfast commitment to public service during difficult times."