McConnell vows to block IRS nominee

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he wouldn’t support any nominee to lead the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) until the administration provides answers on an investigation that the agency targeted Tea Party groups.

“[The administration] expect us to just clear the way tomorrow and let them ram through the president’s new pick to run the IRS,” McConnell said Thursday. “I will not be supporting any nominee to lead this agency until the American people get the answers they deserve.”

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Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) filed cloture on several of President Obama’s executive and judicial nominees, including the nomination of John Koskinen to be commissioner of the IRS.

McConnell said he was reassured after talking with Koskinen that he would cooperate with an investigation into why the IRS targeted Tea Party organizations by rejecting their tax-exempt status, but that it wasn't enough to regain his trust.

“To his credit, Mr. Koskinen has assured me he agrees with me on a topic I feel strongly about — that the IRS should stay out of regulating political speech,” McConnell said. “[But] the IRS has done a lot to lose the trust of the American people. It will need to do a lot more to regain it.”

Reid has told senators to prepare for weekend work in order to clear several of Obama’s nominees since Republicans have refused to yield back any debate time as a protest to Democrats unilaterally changing the filibuster rules last month.