Congress to Hold Hearing on IRS Scandal After Pro-Lifers Targeted

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 15, 2013   |   2:55PM   |   Washington, DC

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

Chairman Darrell Issa, a California Republican, today announced that the Committee will hold a hearing on political targeting at the Internal Revenue Service next Wednesday.

“The IG report indicts IRS for a colossal management failure, but leaves many questions unanswered,” said Chairman Issa.

The full committee hearing, entitled “The IRS: Targeting Americans for Their Political Beliefs,” will be held at 9:30 a.m. in Room 2154 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Neal S. Wolin, Deputy Secretary, Department of the Treasury, and Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, will be testifying. They will be joined by Lois Lerner, Director of Exempt Organizations, Internal Revenue Service and Douglas Shulman, Former Commissioner, Internal Revenue Service.

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, in addition to those identified as ‘tea party’, ‘patriot’, or ‘government spending’ groups.

Today, Congressman Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas) utilized a one minute floor speech to show the President where the IRS is located on the executive branch organization chart, educate the President on the legal definition of the term “independent agency,” apprise the President that Congress gave him the power to fire the IRS Commissioner, and admonish the President for his latest effort to pass the buck.

The congressman said:

“On Monday, President Obama claimed that the IRS is an independent agency. Mr. President, that is not true. As your Org chart shows, the President can remove both the Treasury Secretary and the IRS Commissioner at will. They both serve at the pleasure of President Barack Obama. In recent weeks, months, and perhaps years, President Obama has increasingly claimed little or no responsibility for the actions of his Administration. Whether it is Benghazi, the ObamaCare failures, or this targeting of conservative groups by the IRS, President Obama has flipped the moniker of President Truman on its head. Instead of “The Buck Stops Here,” Obama’s theme has become “The Buck Never Stops Here.” The evidence is clear the IRS targeted tea party and other conservative groups. And the IRS commissioner knew about it. This gross misuse of political power is an absolute outrage. Mr. President, the IRS commissioner and the Treasury Secretary serve at your will, and thus the responsibility for their outrageous actions falls squarely on your shoulders.”



During his press conference on Monday, President Obama actually said: “If in fact IRS personnel … were intentionally targeting conservative groups … they have to be held fully accountable because the IRS as an independent agency requires absolute integrity.”

Numerous media outlets quoted or paraphrased the President’s obvious misstatement of law and fact without correcting it. For example a USA Today story reported, “Noting that the IRS is an ‘independent agency,’ Obama said the tax laws must be applied in ‘a neutral and non-partisan way.’” It took The New York Times three days to begrudgingly and belatedly correct the President: “But the president misspoke on Monday when he said that the I.R.S. was an ‘independent agency.’ It is not.”