Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) scoffed at the idea that just two Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees were responsible for applying a higher level of scrutiny to conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
"That's crazy. Two people? You're saying two people? Don't give me that crap. Somehow they believed that that would be acceptable, and if that's been going for one year, 10 years, or two or three decades, something's wrong with the system."
Officials have said that the IRS's higher scrutiny was conducted by a few low-level employees out of the service's Cincinnati office.
On Wednesday, President Obama accepted the resignation of acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller. A number of lawmakers who chair high-profile congressional committees have vowed to investigate the agency's increased focus on the conservative groups.
"I don't care what party's in charge, supposedly, this is just not acceptable," Manchin continued. "And, you know, if this goes to the bowels of someone who's working... [in] government, at any position whatsoever, and pursues a political agenda, that person should be fired immediately, that person should lose all their benefits they've accrued and that person should be facing jail time. And I'm going to introduce legislation along those lines."
Manchin said he had talked to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) about the legislation. Rubio recently unveiled legislation meant to prevent the IRS from acting in a partisan manner.
Obama plans to pick a new acting IRS commissioner sometime this week, senior Obama administration officials said Thursday.