The House passed legislation Friday that includes language that Republicans say could require the Government Accountability Office to audit Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.
The provision, attached as an amendment to a spending bill, serves to underscore skepticism of the Mueller investigation among House conservatives, many of whom have called for Mueller to end his more-than-year-long probe of possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russian meddling of the 2016 presidential election.
Rep. Mark Meadows, chairman of the conservative Freedom Caucus, introduced the amendment, which was attached to an annual spending bill that in part funds the legislative branch. The bill still has to move through the Senate before reaching the President's desk, making the future of the House-passed GAO requirement still a question.
"While the work of the independent counsel is indeed important, it's just as important that we properly take into account the hardworking American taxpayers' dollars and where they go," Meadows said late Thursday night on the floor while debating his amendment.
Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, however, argued that the legislation wouldn't actually affect Mueller's probe because he's technically a "special" counsel rather than an "independent" counsel.
"Trying to muddy the waters by going after the integrity of the investigation is a classic tactic used by the people who feel threatened by an investigation because they know they've been caught," said Ryan.
A spokesman for Meadows, however, argued that the amendment would still apply to Mueller. CNN has reached out to the GAO to clarify.
- House passes bill seeking audit of Mueller investigation spending
- House passes bill with border wall spending
- House passes FAA reauthorization bill
- Pentagon spends $500 million to fix problems found in audit
- Congress passes $1.3 trillion spending bill, funds government through September
- House passes spending bill with $5 billion for Trump's border wall
- Symantec stock plunges 33% on audit investigation
- House investigating whether Trump lied to Mueller
- Spending bill watch: House votes Thursday, leaders optimistic
- House approves spending bill to avert government shutdown