Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, May 17, 2013
Rather than try to get to the bottom of the Internal Revenue Service improper targeting scandal, Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee chose to hang the scandal on former President George W. Bush during a hearing Friday.
Outgoing IRS Director Steven Miller and Inspector General J. Russell George testified in front of the committee Friday morning after an investigation by the IG’s office found that the IRS had been improperly targeting conservative organizations and applying extra scrutiny to the tax filings of conservative nonprofits.
“These allegations that we’re all outraged about – these occurred under the Bush appointees as well as the Obama appointees,” Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) asked Miller.
“There were no Obama appointees under Mr. Shulman,” Miller responded, referring to former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, who was in charge of the IRS during the majority of the time frame in which the IRS discriminated against conservative groups.
“The people that were – once it was discovered that people were put under a list, a lookout list, that type of thing regardless of what you call it – were the people responsible in Treasury Department appointed by Mister – President – Bush, as well as continued service under President Obama?” Rangel then asked.
“At the IRS, the commissioner was appointed under the Bush administration,” Miller replied.
Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) then continued his colleague’s line of questioning about Shulman’s appointment, delving even further into Bush’s past appointments to the agency.
“Prior to Mr. Shulman, the last political head or political appointee was Mr. Mark Everson, is that correct,” Crowley asked George.
“And during his tenure it’s widely believed that groups like the NAACP, progressive churches that were in opposition to the War in Iraq and environmental groups were targeted by the IRS,” he then added.
George, who is the inspector general responsible for oversight of the IRS in the Department of the Treasury, did not respond to this allegation, however he did acknowledge that he was also appointed by Bush.
Shulman is expected to testify in front of the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday.
“Despite a two-year long investigation by this Committee, the IRS never told the American people or their representatives about this simple truth,” Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) said in his opening statement. “In fact, we were repeatedly told no such targeting was happening. That isn’t being misleading, that is lying.”
“The American people have a right to the truth, to a government that delivers the facts, good or bad, no matter what,” he added.