Hearings Set For IRS ‘Tea Party’ Scrutiny; Timeline Shows Shifting Standards

Source: Andrew Zajac / Bloomberg

At least two congressional committees plan to hold hearings on the U.S. Internal Revenue Service’s admission that it targeted for special attention groups promoting limited government.

The momentum for review by the House panels increased with disclosures over the weekend that a Treasury Department inspector general’s report found that top IRS officials knew of the targeting of the groups as early as June 2011, nine months before the agency’s head told lawmakers that it wasn’t occurring.

The extra IRS scrutiny was given to organizations seeking tax exempt status if they had “tea party” or “patriot” in their name.

An apology by Lois Lerner, the IRS official in charge of overseeing tax exempt groups who acknowledged the targeting in a speech to a lawyers group on May 10, is unpersuasive, said Representative Darrell Issa, chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

“This mea culpa’s not an honest one,” Issa said yesterday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

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