After the Internal Revenue Service spent a month under fire for excessive scrutiny of conservative groups, a new report by its acting commissioner Danny Werfel claims the agency was also targeting progressive groups and searched for terms like “Occupy” and “Israel.”
The report describes several new procedures to prevent unfair treatment by the agency, including a fast-track process for groups seeking tax-exempt status that have yet to get a response from the IRS within 120 days of applying. Werfel told reporters Monday that the top five IRS officials responsible for the tax-exempt status of organizations have been removed.
"The IRS is committed to correcting its mistakes, holding individuals accountable as appropriate" and establishing new controls to reduce potential future problems,” Werfel said. - Read the report here
SHHH! BE QUIET BERNANKE Some economists are suggesting that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke revealed more than he should have about the Fed’s decision to likely scale back its bond buying program next year. One of the Fed’s regional bank presidents, James Bullard of St. Louis, pub-licly said Bernanke’s comments were inappropriately timed, causing the markets to freak out. Indeed, just a day after Bernanke’s announcement, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 353 points or 2.3 percent last Thursday-- its worst day of 2013. - Read more at The New York Times
IMMIGRATION REFORM GAINS STEAM The bipartisan “Gang of Eight” senator’s immigration reform bill moved one step closer to passage last night after a Republican proposal to strengthen border security cleared a procedural Senate vote. The upper chamber is expected to give final approval to the bill later this week. - Read more at The Fiscal Times
OBAMA TO UNVEIL CLIMATE STRATEGY The president will announce a slew of measures aimed at curbing climate change, including limits to carbon emissions from existing power plants. Dur-ing a speech at Georgetown University, Obama will instruct the Environmental Protection Agency to issue a proposed rule by next June to regulate carbon dioxide, though it remains unclear exactly how the agency will do that, and what it will cost industry. Read more at The Washington Post
OBAMACARE GETS STAR-STUDDED ROLLOUT Hollywood’s next big project involves the Affordable Care Act. Trevor Neilson, a top celebrity political adviser told The Hill that his clients, Eva Longoria and John Legend, as well as many other stars will help spread the word on the launch of health insurance exchanges expected later this year. Read more at The Hill