Independent voices from the TWT Communities
The new acting IRS commissioner pledged Thursday to work to safeguard citizens' private information and tax dollars and ensure that the agency acts impartially as it looks to move forward after a bruising few weeks.
Already reeling after admitting it unfairly targeted conservatives, the IRS suffered a new setback Tuesday when its internal auditor released a report showing the agency spent $4.1 million on a lavish conference in California in 2010, including two free drinks for every attendee, and upgrades to suites for more than 100 employees.
The new Internal Revenue Service chief said Monday that his agency broke trust with the American people, and he vowed a speedy investigation to expose who approved the program that led to conservative groups being subjected to unwarranted questions while finding out if any other offices have engaged in similar political targeting.
A day after she refused to answer questions at a congressional hearing, Lois Lerner has been replaced as director the Internal Revenue Service division that oversaw agents who targeted tea party groups.
The woman at the center of the IRS scandal was put on paid administrative leave Thursday, marking the second agency official to be removed over the inappropriate scrutiny of conservative groups.
President Obama's budget will call for more than $25 billion in specific spending cuts, the White House budget office said Tuesday, a day ahead of the blueprint's release.
The White House budget office Thursday told agencies to try to use as much flexibility as they can to blunt the effects of the budget sequesters that took effect last month.
The White House budget office has told federal agencies to slow down new hiring, curtail travel and conferences, and to stop doling out bonuses unless absolutely required to by law, according to a new memo released late Wednesday.
With the automatic cuts looming March 1, the Obama administration is offering more specifics on what lower spending would mean, pointing to everything from fewer agents on the U.S.-Mexico border to cutting funding for special education in school districts around the country.
The White House on Sunday stepped up pressure on Republicans to adopt a short-term budget patch that would cancel the $85 billion in spending "sequesters" due on March 1, saying that government spending is still needed to prop up a stubbornly sluggish economy.
It was one of President Obama's marquee pledges for cutting waste — an administration team under the direction of Vice President Joseph R. Biden would slash the proliferating number of federal websites in half within a year.
A year after the government's chief investigators identified 81 areas where the government double-spends or could cut costs, President Obama and Congress have solved just four of them, the Government Accountability Office said in a follow-up report Tuesday.
Mr. Werfel said he is not aware of any systematic targeting of particular groups still going on within the agency.
"The three most important risks that I've learned so far in two weeks that we need to manage and keep at [a] very low risk level are the risk that the taxpayers would feel like their information is not well-protected, the risk of the IRS acting with partiality and not being impartial, and the risk that we're not keeping our costs down," he said.