Tags: kelly | bill | irs | lerner

Rep. Kelly: New Bill Will Hold Govt. Employees Responsible

Monday, 29 Jul 2013 04:29 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Congressman Mike Kelly says a new bill being introduced by the House will allow for the firing of embattled government employees, including Lois Lerner, the IRS director of Exempt Organizations.

"We have a piece of legislation — the Government Employee Accountability Act — that is going to allow people to be actually fired," Kelly told David Nelson, guest host of "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

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"It is absolutely astounding that the things that we do in the private sector, the efforts that we go to protect our businesses … does not exist in the government.

"Lois Lerner … [is] put on leave with pay. [Jeffrey] Neely from the GSA — the same thing — leave with pay. They don't lose any vacation time, they don't lose any pension dollars, they don't lose any of their revenue."

Lerner is on administrative leave after invoking her Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate before the House Oversight and Government Reform committee in its probe of the IRS targeting of conservative groups.

Neely, the former General Services Administration regional commissioner who masterminded a highly-criticized $800,000 employee conference in Las Vegas, was also put on administrative leave before resigning in May.

"We're going to have the ability to actually fire people or institute the things to fire people for wrongdoing," Kelly, a Pennsylvania Republican, said.

"When there is absolutely no accountability, zero accountability, when you can plead the Fifth and walk out – and that's not just Lois Lerner, it’s other members of the IRS … They don’t get hurt with one single thing.

"They walk through these things like walking through a bed of hot coals with heavy insulated boots on. The rest of us have to follow the law."

Kelly said lawmakers must convince Americans that a thorough investigation by Congress is in their best interests.

"As much as we would like this to move quicker and as much as the administration would like to shove it out of the way altogether, it's going to be a very thoughtful and it's going to be a progressive piece," he said.

"We're not just shooting from the hip and making false statements, we're trying to protect you, Mr. and Mrs. American Citizen, from a government that has grown way too big, way too arrogant."

He said Congress is currently listening to a number of whistleblowers and tipsters with information about the scandals — some who may be offered immunity.

"Some of these people are very vulnerable so you've got to assure them you can come forward, you can get this problem fixed, we will work with you," he said.

"So immunity, of course, is part of it. It's part of every investigation."

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