Camp promises Tea Party activists to pursue IRS leads

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) pledged to hundreds of Tea Party activists that lawmakers would get to the bottom of the current IRS controversy.

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Camp, whose panel is one of several examining the IRS's targeting of conservative groups, told a rally at the west front of the Capitol that lawmakers would be on the case no matter how long it took.

"It will take time, but we will get the facts, and we will follow them wherever they lead," Camp said. "We will get the truth, and we will hold those responsible accountable."

In addition to the targeting of Tea Party groups seeking tax-exempt status, Camp also said the IRS used the gift tax to single out conservatives and leaked confidential information from conservative groups.

Speakers at Wednesday's rally, organized to protest the IRS, cast the agency's actions as part of a larger issue of government run amok. GOP lawmakers at the event also pounded the immigration bill currently being debated in the Senate as well as National Security Agency phone and Internet data collection programs.

Camp has declined to wade into the back-and-forth between House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and the panel's top Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), about the release of transcripts of interviews with IRS staffers in both Washington and the Cincinnati office that handles tax-exempt applications. Senior Ways and Means members have said they don't think any parts of the transcripts should have been released.

But Camp has said he does not believe the targeting originated in Ohio, and quoted a Cincinnati staffer on Wednesday as saying they didn't do anything without direction.

Transcripts released so far have not suggested any White House involvement in the targeting, and the Michigan Republican did not mention President Obama in his remarks.