The House voted to hold former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner in contempt on a 231-187 vote Wednesday, as Republicans work to uncover the depth of Lerner's involvement in the agency's targeting of conservative groups from 2010 to May 2013.
Six Democrats broke with their party to support the contempt vote: Ron Barber of Arizona, John Barrow of Georgia, Collin Peterson of Minnesota, Mike McIntyre of North Carolina, Nick Rahall of West Virginia, and Patrick Murphy of Florida. All are facing Republican challengers in tough districts for Democrats in November.
"Who's been fired over the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS? No one that I'm aware of. Who's gone to jail for violating the law? When is the administration going to tell the American people the truth?" House Speaker John Boehner told reporters Wednesday morning. "One would have to guess, if they're not willing to tell the American people the truth, it must not be very pretty."
Lerner was found in contempt of Congress after invoking her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination at a House hearing last May. House Republicans argue that, because Lerner gave an opening speech testifying to her innocence in the inquiry before pleading the Fifth, she had waived her right to refuse to testify. Republicans subpoenaed Lerner to testify again in March, when she again asserted her right to remain silent, setting off the contempt proceedings.