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
IPO'S BRING IN RECORD CASH U.S. companies appear on track to raise record sums through public offerings, at levels not seen since the runup to financial crisis. So far, 64 IPOs have raised $16.8 billion, compared to 2012 when 73 IPO’s raised $13.1 billion. The Wall Street Journal’s Telis Demos and Matt Jarzemsky write: “Behind this year's pace is an ebbing of the wild price swings that had been a dominant feature of the stock market since the financial crisis, according to investors, companies and bankers. Instead, stocks have been on a steady grind higher. As markets reach new records, investors are taking chances on shares of new public companies.” - Read more at The Wall Street Journal
USPS LOSES NEARLY $2 BILLION IN SECOND QUARTER The U.S. Postal Service reported a $1.9 billion loss in the second quarter of 2013, according to GovExec. And though that number may seem startling to some, it’s actually an improvement over last year. So far in 2013, the Postal Service lost a total of $3.1 billion, which is less than half of what it lost through the first half of 2012. Postal Service officials have been urging Congress to act to reform the agency, but so far nothing has been done “The most important issue relates to time,” Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said at a Board of Governors meeting on Friday, “and we’re running out of it.” If Congress doesn’t cobble together legislation, USPS will have to resort to “extreme actions,” Donahoe said, including hiking up delivery and postage fees. - Read more at GovExec
FEDS GET BONUSES TO SAVE GOVERNMENT MONEY Federal workers could receive bonuses of up to $10,000 for reporting government waste or suggesting effective ways to save the federal government money under a measure introduced last week by Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn. “Fleischmann said offering the bonuses would not only be a way to encourage workers to cut wasteful spending, it also could return to the U.S. Treasury millions of unused tax dollars that could then be applied toward deficit reduction,” The Republic’s Michael Collins writes. - Read more at The Republic
ECONOMY IS SLOWLY RECOVERING “The economy appears to have found some stability… Overall growth has rebounded from a soft patch at the end of last year, consumers have continued to spend in the face of tax increases, and employers added 165,000 jobs in April. ... Layoffs have fallen to a five-year low,” . The Wall Street Journal’s Ben Casselman and Phil Izzo wrote. They added that ““experts expect the steady path to continue.” In the latest Wall Street Journal survey of economists, forecasters said they expect employers to add just under 180,000 jobs a month over the next 12 months, about the same pace as the past two years. They think overall economic growth has slowed somewhat from the first three months of the year but will quickly rebound; for the full year, economists expect 2.4 percent growth. - Read more at The Wall Street Journal