Rep. Tom Reed and the full Ways and Means Committee friday held a hearing on the Internal Revenue Service targeting of political groups. IRS Acting Commissioner Steven Miller and Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George served as witnesses.
"What the Committee heard today was offensive," Reed said. "The IRS' targeting of groups based on their political leanings is an astounding abuse of power on the part of the agency. We will get to the bottom of this, we will get answers as to why this was allowed to happen."
On May 14, the Treasury Inspector General for Taxpayer Administration report confirmed, "The IRS used inappropriate criteria to identify organizations applying for tax-exempt status." According to the report, the abuse of power began as far back as 2010.
In his questioning of IRS Acting Commissioner Steven Miller, Reed pushed Miller on the fact that regardless of abuse of power, Miller was still getting a paycheck. "As Mr. Miller sat in front of the Committee today, trying to defend what is indefensible, he was getting paid. In my experience in the private-sector, Mr. Miller would have been fired. We will not let him, and others involved, off the hook for this he is able to retire with full IRS retirement benefits. That's unacceptable."
"The release of confidential taxpayer information to media displays a disturbing level of either incompetence or total disregard for personal, confidential information on the part of the IRS. The Committee requested names of those involved today, and we expect answers."
"This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are gaping holes in the timeline of the report and substantive details that have been omitted. Until Americans get the answers they deserve, we'll have more investigations and keep asking questions. I expect the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight to be extremely active on hearings moving forward."