Finance

GOP lawmaker bashes IRS response to Clinton concerns

A House Republican called out the IRS on Thursday for sending her a form letter in response to concerns about the Clinton Foundation’s tax exemption.

The IRS’s response to Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) was addressed to “Sir or Madam,” and the senior agency official who runs the tax-exempt division didn’t sign it.

{mosads}To Blackburn, that reply was “lacking in the requisite tact.” She added that it was “unbelievably disrespectful” that Margaret Von Lienen, the senior IRS official, “couldn’t even take the few extra seconds needed to sign the letter.”

“It begs the question — do they even take our request seriously? This is exactly why people don’t trust the IRS,” Blackburn said in a statement. 

“Members of Congress have an obligation to be responsive to the questions being raised by our constituents regarding these widely reported improprieties,” Blackburn added. “We’d expect officials at the IRS, who also work for and are paid by the U.S. taxpayer, to take the same care and effort in crafting a response to our inquiry.”

Blackburn and roughly 50 other GOP lawmakers urged the IRS last month to investigate the charitable organization of former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of State and front-runner for the 2016 Democratic nomination.

The GOP lawmakers noted that the Clinton Foundation had failed for years to report millions of dollars in donations from foreign governments, or the Clintons’ ties to a Canadian donor and businessman. The foundation is organized as a 501(c)(3) organization, which means it cannot help political campaigns.

Von Lienen’s response to Blackburn simply said the IRS has “an ongoing examination program” to ensure that tax-exempt groups comply with the law. “The information you submitted will be considered in this program,” Van Lienen added.

GOP tax-writers in both chambers haven’t shown quite the concern that Blackburn has with the Clinton Foundation’s tax exemption. Just a handful of Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee signed on to Blackburn’s original letter to the IRS last month. 

Tags Bill Clinton Hillary Clinton Marsha Blackburn

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