The Internal Revenue Service needs a "complete culture change," Sen. John Thune said Tuesday, commenting that the Justice Department's decision not to prosecute Lois Lerner
for targeting tea party-affiliated groups was no surprise.
"This is a cultural issue within the IRS, where they have people who believe they have this power over the American people," the South Dakota Republican told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" program.
"What has to happen is a complete culture change, and it starts with putting in place a 'taxpayer bill of rights.'"
Thune said he and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, have introduced legislation that will "require the IRS to treat taxpayers the way they deserve, and to provide the service they expect from the agency that handles their taxes."
Assistant Attorney General Peter Kadzik said in a letter to lawmakers that the IRS did mishandle the groups' applications, but "ineffective management is not a crime," and Thune disagreed.
"If the ranking member on the Senate Finance Committee ranked this as a bureaucratic dysfunction, they're saying there was incompetence," said Thune. "That's true, but it's not enough. We believe this agency has to go through a change."
At the same time, he pointed out that the Justice Department also failed to prosecute other controversial charges, including on wait times for Veterans Administration recipients.
"But, it's hard to prove intent, when mysteriously Lois Lerner's emails all disappeared," said Thune. "That's an important part of being able to prosecute that case. There was terrible things that happened at the IRS [that] they need to be held responsible for and coming up and saying it was incompetence and bad judgment, it doesn't solve the problem for people who were harmed."
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.