Domestic Taxes

Ways and Means sets hearing on IRS

The House Ways and Means Committee will examine the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of Tea Party groups at a hearing Friday.

The panel announced the hearing Monday, which will occur exactly one week after IRS officials apologized for applying additional scrutiny to groups applying for tax-exempt status that had the words “Tea Party” or “patriot” in their names. Members of both parties vowed a thorough investigation into the matter.

“News that the agency admits it targeted American taxpayers based on politics is both astounding and appalling,” said Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.). “The Committee on Ways and Means will get to the bottom of this practice and ensure it never takes place again.”

“The nation deserves a complete understanding of this matter, and as Chairman Camp and I discussed this morning, it is essential that there be a thorough and bipartisan investigation and effective remedial action,” said Rep. Sandy Levin (D-Mich.), the ranking member of the panel.

{mosads}Lawmakers will hear from acting IRS Commissioner Steve Miller, as well as Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George. Miller has led the IRS since the end of 2012, when the previous commissioner, Douglas Shulman, exited at the end of his term.

The appearance will come after the inspector general releases its report on the targeting, due out later this week. Leaked versions of the report stated that top IRS officials knew of the targeting back in 2011.

The IRS has come under bipartisan fire for the behavior. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) called it “not only inappropriate, but it is intolerable,” and vowed his own investigation into the matter. And President Obama said targeting conservative groups was “outrageous” and should not be tolerated.

“If you’ve got the IRS operating in anything less than a neutral and nonpartisan way, then that is outrageous. It is contradictory to our traditions, and people have to be held accountable,” Obama said at a joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron.

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