Rep. Darrell Issa is stepping up pressure on the Internal Revenue Service to reveal how it plans to implement Obamacare insurance subsidies, warning that if he doesn't get answers soon he will issue subpoenas.
Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, sent a letter Thursday to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew threatening to "consider use of compulsory process" if the IRS doesn't respond to his questions about how Obamacare tax subsidies to help low-income families pay for health coverage will be handled.
According to the Hill
, Issa demanded the information be produced by Aug. 29.
The IRS plans to make subsidies available in all 50 states, but Issa and other Republicans believe the tax credits should be limited to only the 16 states that are running their own health insurance exchanges.
Issa said Treasury has not explained either in writing or during briefings its decision to offer subsidies to every state.
"These briefings have consisted of IRS and Treasury employees' inability to remember key factors they considered, a lack of familiarity among IRS and Treasury employees with how particular parts of the statute related to the rule, and a failure of IRS and Treasury employees to provide supporting evidence to this potentially illegal decision," Issa stated in his letter to Lew
Treasury has claimed executive branch confidentiality interests in refusing so far to release documents related to the subsidy program, in particular emails written before the IRS issued its first proposed rule on the subsidies.
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