By Ramsey Cox
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Monday said the Senate would act if a report suggests more investigation is needed of the Internal Revenue Service targeting conservative groups for scrutiny.
“These allegations of course are very troubling,” Reid said on the Senate floor Monday. “As soon as we have the inspector general's report, the Senate will swiftly take appropriate action."
The IRS admitted last week that it was targeting conservative groups with the words "Tea Party" and "patriot" in their names, often probing to ensure these groups qualified for tax-exempt status.
An investigative report from the Treasury Department's inspector general for tax administration, which is expected to be made public later this week, found the IRS effort to target certain groups was more widespread and was known by top IRS officials as early as 2011.
Reid said he had confidence that the report would help guide the Senate in what actions are necessary to prevent it from happening again.
“Concerns such as these are the reason we have inspectors general,” Reid said. “Our inspectors general have a great records of responsibility. … I am confident he is examining this issue and doing it very well. I look forward to his report.”
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) announced Monday that his committee would investigate the situation.
"If the inspector general's report indicates further investigation is needed, I have full confidence in the ability of Sen. Baucus and the Finance Committee to get to the bottom of this matter and recommend appropriate action,” Reid said.