Compiled by Jesse Wood
May 17, 2013. Several days ago, The Associated Press reported that the Internal Revenue Service acknowledged that it targeted conservative political groups using key words such as “Tea Party” to see if those groups violated their tax-exempt status.
A few days later, Franklin Graham penned a letter to President Barack Obama claiming that the Charlotte-based Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and the Watauga County-based Samaritan’s Purse were profiled because it supported the traditional marriage amendment.
Here’s how your U.S. Representatives responded to IRS’ admission. Foxx hasn’t released a statement on the matter.
Hagan Comments on IRS Investigation
U.S. Senator Kay Hagan today released the following statement about the ongoing investigation of the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) handling of tax-exempt status applications, which shows employees who may have been improperly targeting organizations based on key words and other narrow, politically-motivated criteria.
“Reports that IRS employees were targeting certain groups applying for tax-exempt status are disturbing and troubling to say the least,” said Hagan. “The Inspector General’s review of the IRS is expected to be released soon, and I will be reviewing their findings closely. If it turns out that the IRS was in fact targeting non-profit groups based on their political views, I think most North Carolinians would join me in condemning this behavior that has no place in our government. There should be a full investigation, and anyone and everyone who was aware of or involved in this needs to be held accountable.”
Meadows Requests Answers on IRS Targeting
Representative Mark Meadows (NC-11) released the following statement after co-signing a letter, along with 103 of his House colleagues, to Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew requesting more information on the IRS’s targeting of conservative organizations during the 2012 election cycle.
“The IRS’s deliberate targeting of organizations based on their political beliefs is inexcusable,” Meadows said. “Citizens should never have to fear retribution by the IRS simply due to exercising their First Amendment rights. This type of behavior by a federal agency should put people all across the political spectrum on high alert.
“Our letter, drafted by my colleague Jim Bridenstine, requests additional information from Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew on this inappropriate political stunt by the IRS. Among the questions posed in the letter, we ask whether all targeted organizations have been properly notified and request a detailed account of each instance in which groups were required to submit donor lists, which is a blatant violation of IRS policy. We also ask whether the office of IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman made any investigation into the allegations of targeting before Shulman confidently told Congress last year that there was ‘absolutely no targeting’ taking place.
“Many organizations were forced to waste countless hours and thousands of dollars to comply with these politically-motivated requests by the IRS. My colleagues and I are committed to holding the Administration accountable for disregarding the fundamental rights upon which our nation was built.”
Senator Burr Condemns IRS for Targeting Conservative Groups
“The revelations over the weekend that the IRS has been intentionally targeting conservative groups are both disgraceful and inexcusable. The deliberate harassment of any individual or organization for their political beliefs is absolutely unacceptable and threatens the very essence of our individual rights as protected by our Constitution. While the IRS apologized for their actions on Friday, reports over the weekend demonstrate that much wider problems exist and that senior officials within the organization failed to correct the situation for nearly two years before the truth was finally revealed.
“President Obama needs to come out immediately to condemn these practices in the harshest of terms and hold people accountable. Where the administration has failed in protecting the public’s trust, my colleagues and I in Congress will work tirelessly to find answers, demand accountability, and restore trust in our institutions of government.”