May 15, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama forced out the head of the IRS on Wednesday, seeking to restore the public's faith in the tax agency while asserting a measure of control over a rapidly growing political problem. Making a hastily scheduled statement at the White House, Obama denounced the targeting of conservative groups by the Internal Revenue Service as "inexcusable" and pledged to "do everything in my power to make sure nothing like this ever happens again. " "Americans are right to be angry about it, and I am angry about it," he said.
May 15, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Justice Department began a criminal investigation Tuesday into overzealous scrutiny by the IRS of applications for tax exemptions by conservative groups, an improper targeting that an inspector general's report blamed on a confused staff and lax oversight. The improper activities "were not influenced by any individual or organization outside the IRS," the auditors said they were told by Internal Revenue Service officials. Instead, the report painted a picture of an IRS unit based in Cincinnati that used "inappropriate criteria" for deciding which applications to examine, without any review by senior managers.
May 14, 2013
One of the great outrages of the Watergate scandal was President Nixon's use of the Internal Revenue Service to harass his political opponents. Yet some IRS officials appear to have forgotten what happens when tax law enforcers pick their targets based on their politics. A forthcoming report from the agency's inspector general is expected to describe how IRS employees inappropriately scrutinized grass-roots conservative groups that were seeking tax-exempt status. If that happened, it's unacceptable, and Congress should find out what involvement, if any, the Obama administration had in the abuses.
May 13, 2013 |
LONDON - Prime Minister David Cameron moved Monday to beat back a brewing rebellion within his Conservative Party over Britain's membership in the European Union, rejecting demands for a speedy public vote on exiting the trading bloc but insisting that he would offer such a referendum by the end of 2017. As he met with President Obama in Washington - where Cameron lobbied for a U.S.-EU free-trade pact - the British leader found himself on the defensive at home against members of his party who want their country to withdraw from the 27-nation EU as soon as possible.
May 13, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Top career officials in the Internal Revenue Service withheld information from Congress for months about the tax agency's targeting of conservative organizations for extra scrutiny, according to documents released Monday as a controversy involving alleged political bias in tax enforcement gathered strength. Members of Congress called for firing the agency's acting commissioner, one of the senior officials involved, and President Obama said he would "not tolerate" any such abuse of power by the IRS. "If you've got the IRS operating in anything less than a neutral and nonpartisan way, then that is outrageous; it's contrary to our traditions.
May 11, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - A top Internal Revenue Service official knew as early as June 2011 that conservative groups seeking nonprofit status were being singled out for additional scrutiny, raising questions about when senior officials were informed and why the IRS allowed the agency's commissioner to deny the targeting effort in March 2012 testimony before Congress. The IRS has said the commissioner was not aware of the targeting at the time, but it has not explained why the testimony was never corrected.