Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Sunday called the Internal Revenue Service scandal a defining example of “big-government cronyism.”
“This is rotten to the core. This is arrogance. This is big-government cronyism,” said Ryan on “Fox News Sunday.”
The 2012 GOP vice-presidential nominee and House Budget committee chairman said the mismanagement which allowed IRS to target and delay applications for tax exempt status from conservative groups highlighted the failures of the Obama administration.
Ryan recalled campaigning with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney last year for the presidency and having to fight Obama’s policy platforms by warning Americans of the dire consequences that a larger government could create.
“This is what's disturbing about this,” he said. “We had a challenge in the campaign against empty rhetoric. Now the country is seeing what this kind of big unlimited government does in practice. And that is not a pretty picture.
“This is why we have to do our jobs to bring accountability to the federal government, to bring trust back to the hard-working taxpayers. And unfortunately I think we're going to go through a painful exercise in this country where we learn that these abuses are occurring, and our rights as citizens are being infringed upon,” Ryan continued.
The House Ways and Means committee and the House Oversight committee have launched investigations into the recent revelations from the IRS, which also targeted several conservative Christian and Jewish groups.
The emerging scandal is one of three controversies that the White House has been battling last week as Republicans have continued to hit the administration over its handling of the terror attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya last year, which killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
Ryan said the Republican-led investigation is not a “partisan endeavor” and was focused on finding out, “what is the truth and why was the truth intentionally distorted?”
The administration initially held that the attacks were a result of a protest over an anti-Muslim video that spun out of control, but then later said publicly that a group of terrorists with ties to al Qaeda were responsible. The White House said its earlier assessment was based on the best available intelligence at the time.