Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle demanded major, unfettered investigations of the IRS as the scandal surrounding the agency’s admission that it targeted tea party groups for extra scrutiny showed no signs of stopping, reports The Hill
President Barack Obama on Monday called the practice of singling out groups for their political leanings “outrageous” and said the agency must be held “fully accountable,” while congressional Democrats announced they too want to hit the IRS hard for answers.
Top-level Republicans called for resignations at the agency’s highest levels.
“I don’t care whether you’re a Democrat, independent or Republican,” Obama said.
“At some point there are going to be Republican administrations. At some point there are going to be Democratic ones.
Either way, you don’t want the IRS ever being perceived to be biased and anything less than neutral in terms of how they operate.”
Dave Camp, R-Mich., the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and Sandy Levin, D-Mich., the committee's top-ranking Democrat, announced Monday that their committee will hold the first congressional hearing on the IRS scandal this Friday.
“The Committee on Ways and Means will get to the bottom of this practice and ensure it never takes place again,” Camp said.
Among those scheduled to testify at Friday’s hearing are Russell George, the Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration and Steven Miller, the acting IRS commissioner who Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., have asked to resign
“It is clear the IRS cannot operate with even a shred of the American people’s confidence under the current leadership,” Rubio wrote to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Monday, while also asking Obama to demand Miller’s resignation.
Tea party groups have said that the IRS scrutiny was highly invasive, with some finding it hard to believe that Obama’s fingerprints aren’t all over the moves made by the agency.
The IRS has admitted that it wrongly asked tea party groups for donor lists.
“The connection between Obama’s rhetoric and IRS action seems more than coincidental,” said Tim Phillips, the president of Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group linked to the politically active Koch brothers.
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