House Democrats are attempting to push back against the Republican narrative of the IRS scandal.
In video uploaded to YouTube on Tuesday, Democrats on the House Oversight Committee highlighted that many Republican claims about the IRS had been directly contradicted by Treasury Inspector General J. George Russell, the man in charge of investigating the IRS targeting of tea party groups.
During a congressional hearing last month, Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA) asked the inspector general if the scrutiny of tea party groups applying for tax exempt status was politically motivated. He also asked if the White House had an “enemies list” and if the Obama administration had used the IRS to target tea party groups. Russell said there was no evidence to support those claims.
Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) also released a statement on Tuesday blasting a Republican report on the IRS targeting of tea party groups. The report concluded that conservative groups received much higher levels of scrutiny than progressive groups, but Levin accused the report of being woefully incomplete.
“The Republican analysis makes no mention of the time period of applications reviewed, no mention of whether they were the same applications reviewed by TIGTA in connection with the audit, and no mention of the fact that there are terms that reflect liberal organizations other than ‘progressive,’ he explained in his statement. “What’s more, it doesn’t disclose the overall number of conservative groups – compared with liberal groups – who applied for tax-exempt status. This is a recurring problem in this investigation – the release of incomplete information.”
“The overwhelming fact remains that Republicans will do everything they can to deflect attention from their inability to do almost anything – a record that has earned them historically low ratings from the American public,” Levin concluded.
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