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IRS Hasn’t Reprimanded a Single Staffer For Targeting Pro-Life Groups

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 5/22/13 11:00 AM

National

Americans believe the targeting of pro-life groups and conservatives by the Internal Revenue service was a deliberate act. However, the agency hasn’t officially reprimanded a single staffer over it.

As Politico reports today:

Lawmakers pressing for more heads to roll at the Internal Revenue Service are going to be disappointed.

“Why weren’t more people fired?” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) demanded at a hearing Tuesday on the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups, channeling the frustration of his colleagues.

Turns out it’s not so easy.

In fact, it appears that no one has been formally reprimanded and a spokesperson for the union representing IRS workers said it hasn’t been called to help any employees yet. Most employees involved in the targeting program are covered by protections for federal workers that could drag out the termination process.

Why is disciplining IRS staffers over the targeting so difficult?

The incoming acting IRS Commissioner, Daniel Werfel, could try to clean house — but he’d have to be prepared for a lengthy appeals process.

Under federal rules, a fired government worker has the right to appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board. He or she can challenge the decision, argue that their actions don’t meet the threshold for termination and ask to be reinstated — especially if there was no warning of trouble in past performance reviews.

The incoming acting IRS Commissioner, Daniel Werfel, could try to clean house — but he’d have to be prepared for a lengthy appeals process.

Under federal rules, a fired government worker has the right to appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board. He or she can challenge the decision, argue that their actions don’t meet the threshold for termination and ask to be reinstated — especially if there was no warning of trouble in past performance reviews.

Jay Sekulow of the pro-life legal group ACLJ talked about what this scandal means and its significance.

“A key Obama Administration official has just asserted her Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. The IRS scandal has reached a new phase. The Obama Administration unlawfully targeted conservative groups and has been caught,” he told LifeNews.

“We are just days away from filing one of the largest lawsuits we have ever filed. I am leading our team of ACLJ attorneys in directly taking on the unlimited resources of the IRS – to end this abuse and harassment once and for all,” he said. “Over the past 18 months, the ACLJ has represented 27 of these targeted groups from 17 states.”

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With the scandal concerning the IRS and its targeting of pro-life and conservative groups growing, national conservative activists held nationwide rallies today at IRS offices across the country.

Reports indicate President Barack Obama’s top attorney knew in April that the Internal Revenue Service was targeting pro-life and conservative groups. The reports show Obama’s top lawyer was notified in April that the Treasury Department’s inspector general had finished an audit of the IRS over the allegations.

The IRS will soon face more than controversy and Congressional hearings over its discrimination of pro-life and conservative groups. The federal agency will soon find itself in court.

The news comes as a report shows James Dobson, the pro-life family advocate, disclosed that he was a victim of IRS discrimination because he spoke out against pro-abortion President Barack Obama.

Obama addressed the massive IRS scandal and promised it would never happen again.

“I’ll do everything in my power to make sure this never happens again,” he promised.

The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee announced he will hold a hearing on the IRS scandal this week. The federal agency has targeted pro-life groups as well as conservative and religious organizations.

In one case LifeNews has profiled, a pro-life group was told it had to promote abortion. A top pro-life legal group also informed LifeNews that cases it handled support mounting accusations that demonstrate the agency’s abuse of pro-life organizations.