- John McCain laments: Obama’s ‘self-pity … is really kind of sad’
- GOP offer to fix VA gives $10 billion in emergency funds
- Paul Ryan offers to repair U.S. economic safety net with a single grant stream
- Kim Jong-un builds bond with Putin: $250M Russia-backed addition to key port opens
- Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death
- Detroit porch shooting trial: Suspect says he didn’t know gun was loaded
- U.S. Navy admiral ‘receptive’ to giving Chinese counterpart a tour of carrier
- Islamic State orders female genital mutilation for Mosul girls, U.N. says
- U.N. school in Gaza caught in cross-fire; 15 killed
- Obama encourages ICE to stand down, say former border agents
Facing fire, ousted IRS chief apologizes for tea party targeting
House GOP leader says White House may be to blame
Question of the Day
“This outrage is not Democrat and Republican. It involves the credibility of government as it relates to American citizens,” said Rep. Charles B. Rangel, New York Democrat.
Rep. Sander Levin of Michigan, the panel’s senior Democrat, has called for Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups, to step down.
But Republicans were particularly harsh on the IRS official, saying they weren’t satisfied with his apology and explanations.
“I’m sad and I’m sick to my stomach that Americans could be targeted by a government agency based on their political beliefs,” said Rep. Lynn Jenkins, Kansas Republican.
Rep. Tom Price, Georgia Republican, said called the IRS’s action “chilling” and “very, very serious.”
Conservative groups have complained for more than a year that the IRS was targeting tea party groups, and repeatedly asked the agency last year for information on the matter.
On Friday Republicans accused Mr. Miller of failing to inform Congress of the IRS’s practice of targeting conservative groups even after he had been briefed on the matter last year. The IRS official denied he mislead Congress.
But Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Oregon Democrat, said lawmakers are partially to blame for the problem because Congress has “slowly been starving” the IRS budget while their caseload has ballooned. This, coupled with an expanded tax code, led lower-level agency officials to make dangerous shortcuts, he said.
“I also hope that we look at the task they’ve been given, the budget they’ve been given and think a little bit about maybe a rate of return that would more than pay for itself if we invested in training, in management and having more than 150 people to deal with the avalanche of these applications,” he said.
J. Russell George,Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration who oversaw a yearlong investigation of the IRS scandal, told the committee his probe has found no examples so far of a political motivation in the IRS‘ targeting of conservative groups. Mr. George, the hearing’s only other witness, called the IRS’s actions improper but said his investigation didn’t find any criminal activity by IRS personnel — though he added there will be “subsequent review on our part on this matter.”
The inspector general’s audit, released Tuesday, said the IRS’s singling out of conservative groups for “burdensome” scrutiny delayed approving some applications for so long that the groups simply gave up. Mr. George said that of the 170 cases in which the IRS asked for follow-up information, 98 included “unnecessary questions” that slowed down the application process.
Of the 296 applications for tax-exempt status the independent watchdog reviewed for its audit, 108 cases had been approved, 160 were still open and 28 were withdrawn. No cases had been denied.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Sean Lengell covers Congress and national politics and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- GOP tests Democrats on college loan issue
- Lawmakers outside intelligence loop get miffed about briefing structure in Congress
- John Boehner: Time is right to bring latest farm bill to House floor
- Supreme Court nears rulings on key voting rights cases
- N.J. Gov. Christie picks state A.G. to fill U.S. Senate seat
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
The subsidies are a hit with patients who don't exist
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Algerian plane diverted due to storms, second aircraft: 116 missing
- Whistleblowers flood VA with lawsuits despite apology
- Obama's empty tough-talk: Gun prosecutions plummet on his watch
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Obama says public not familiar enough with issues
- Conservative groups decry Democrats' 'war on women' tactic
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Astronaut shares 'saddest photo' from space: Bombs bursting over Israel, Gaza
- EDITORIAL: Obamacare enrollees faking for freebies
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq