(Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a resolution finding former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress for refusing to answer questions about her alleged role in the tax agency's

Lerner, the former head of the IRS's tax-exempt division, sparked a scandal in May 2013 when she publicly apologized for what she called "inappropriate" targeting of conservative political groups applying for tax-exempt status.

Republicans, who have a majority in the House of Representatives, have tried to link the White House to the IRS' conduct, but without success.

Lerner, who retired from the agency in September 2013, has denied any wrongdoing.