Tea Party: IRS Apology Won't Cut It

Tea Party: IRS Apology Won't Cut It

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Tea Party groups are dissatisfied with apologies from the Internal Revenue Service for singling out conservative groups for excessive scrutiny of their tax-exempt statuses and are demanding a deeper probe into the extent of the agency’s misconduct.

On Friday, the IRS insisted that agency officials were unaware of the targeting, and that it was an isolated event conducted  by low-level staff members at an office in Cincinnati.  Yet  a draft of an inspector general’s audit that surfaced over the weekend revealed that Lois Lerner – an IRS official in charge of oversight of tax-exempt groups -- knew about the practice  as early as June 2011.

"The Tea Party Patriots rejects the apology from the Internal Revenue Service," said Jenny Beth Martin, national coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots, an organization that represents more than 3,000 tea party groups nationwide, in a statement. "The IRS lied. They lied before Congress in 2011, and they lied again [in the agency's apology]. We must know how many more lies they have been telling, and how high up the chain the cover-up goes."

Martin says the Tea Party Patriots were among the groups targeted.

“We applied for our 501(c)4 and a 501(c)3 tax exempt status and we still have not heard back,” Martin told The Hill. “The IRS has asked questions of us, like they wanted to know every single post on Facebook, every comment that any person who is a fan of ours on Facebook had ever made, all the congressmen and Senators that our supporters ever spoke to, very intrusive questions.”

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., vowed  to get to the bottom of the targeting scandal. Camp said he will schedule  a hearing on the matter  as soon as the official audit has been publically released.  -  Read more at The Hill

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Brianna Ehley is the former Washington Correspondent for The Fiscal Times. She is currently a reporter on Politico's health care team in Washington, D.C.