May 07, 2014, 08:46 am
Wednesday: House to hold IRS official Lerner in contempt
By Cristina Marcos and Ramsey Cox
The House will vote on Wednesday to hold former IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and other Republicans have used the threat of contempt charges to pressure Lerner to testify before Congress about her role in the targeting of conservative nonprofits applying for tax-exempt status.
Last week, Lerner's lawyer, Bill Taylor of Zuckerman Spaeder, asked GOP leaders to allow Lerner to make the case before lawmakers that the contempt charges wouldn't stand up in court. But the House Republican leadership rejected her request.
Lerner, the former director of the IRS division overseeing tax-exempt groups, has become the face of the targeting controversy since it broke one year ago. The contempt vote will be the second in just two years against an Obama administration official. It will also come one day before a resolution to create a select committee to investigate the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, is expected to hit the House floor.
Also Wednesday, the House will vote on a measure to create a commission to study building a women's history museum on or near the National Mall. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) has been pushing such a proposal since 1998. It has reached the House floor now after she teamed up with Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.).
Maloney and Blackburn's legislation is expected to pass easily under an expedited procedure requiring a two-thirds majority.
The Senate starts at 9:30 a.m. and will kill time to run out the 30-hour clock that started Tuesday when the Senate voted 79-20 to end debate on a motion to proceed to an energy efficiency bill, S. 2262.
If a deal isn't reached sooner, debate time on the motion to proceed will expire at 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had been negotiating with Republicans on amendment votes to the legislation, but on Tuesday he gave the GOP an ultimatum after he said they kept changing their demands.