McConnell: I'll Oppose Obama's Pick for IRS Chief

Image: McConnell: I'll Oppose Obama's Pick for IRS Chief John Koskinen

Thursday, 19 Dec 2013 05:28 PM

By Todd Beamon

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday he would oppose President Barack Obama's nominee to head the scandal-plagued IRS.

"The American people deserve answers about how and why this targeting happened," the Kentucky Republican said on the Senate floor. He was referring to disclosures earlier this year that the IRS targeted conservative, tea party, and religious groups in their application for nonprofit status. "They deserve justice too."

"I will not be supporting any nominee to lead this agency until the American people get the answers they deserve," McConnell said.

Obama nominated John Koskinen as IRS commissioner in August. He is a former official of the mortgage finance giant Freddie Mac.

The IRS targeting scandal began in 2010 and continued through last year's presidential election.

The agency also has been under fire for spending as much as $50 million on 220 conferences in three years. One conference alone, in which IRS officials enjoyed luxury hotel rooms, cost taxpayers $4 million.

The IRS also is under investigation for allegedly giving government officials access to the tax records of political candidates and campaign donors.

Further, the agency is charged with implementing Obamacare.

In his confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee last week, Koskinen said that he would work to restore public trust in the IRS. The committee endorsed his nomination.

McConnell said on Wednesday that he also would oppose Koskinen's nomination because of the Senate's recent rules change that now allows the party in the majority, currently the Democrats, to end filibusters with only 51 votes.

"They just expect the elected representatives of the people to roll over and rubber-stamp a new presidential nominee to head the IRS," McConnell said of Senate Democrats. "They want Congress to forget what happened too, and just move on.

“They expect us to just clear the way tomorrow and let them ram through the president’s new pick to run the IRS," he said.

He said that he recently met with Koskinen to discuss the IRS and "we had a good conversation."

McConnell said that he expects Koskinen to cooperate with congressional investigators regarding the various IRS scandals and work to minimize the impact of executing Obamacare.

“The IRS has done a lot to lose the trust of the American people," McConnell said. "It will need to do a lot more to regain it."

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