Sen. Collins: Obama should condemn IRS for targeting Tea Party groups

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said Sunday that President Obama needs to personally address the IRS's targeting of conservative political groups.


"I think it's very disappointing that the president hasn't personally condemned this and spoken out," Collins said. "His spokesman has said that it should be investigated, but the president needs to make crystal clear that this is totally unacceptable in America."

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Collins said on CNN's "State of the Union" that "it is absolutely chilling" for the IRS to target political groups.

The tax agency acknowledged Friday that it had singled out groups with "Tea Party" or "Patriot" in their names for additional scrutiny of their tax-exempt status. The agency blamed the actions on a small group of employees.

"I just don't buy that this is a couple of rogue IRS employees," Collins said.

The Associated Press reported this weekend that more senior IRS officials knew about the political targeting.

The AP said the head of the IRS division that overseas tax-exempt groups became aware that conservative groups were being targeted for scrutiny in June 2011. The report does not say whether Douglas Shulman, IRS commissioner at the time, was aware of it.