The Senate Finance Committee has released their findings after a two-year investigation into the Internal Revenue Service, closing one of the darker chapters in the sordid history of the Obama administration. Charged with determining whether or not the IRS deliberately targeted conservative groups and tea party organizations with audits, the committee released a report that allows for plenty of political interpretation.
“Our investigation found that from 2010 to 2013, IRS management was delinquent in its responsibility to provide effective control, guidance, and direction over the processing of applications for tax-exempt status filed by Tea Party and other political advocacy organizations,” the report said.
But while the committee is not conflicted when it comes to the failings inside tax bureau, their report comes to few conclusions regarding intent. That’s given politicians on both side of the spectrum room to claim victory.
“The Committee found evidence that the administration’s political agenda guided the IRS’s actions with respect to their treatment of conservative groups,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch, the committee chairman. “Personal politics of IRS employees, such as Lois Lerner, also impacted how the IRS conducted its business.”
On the other hand, you have Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat. “The results of this in-depth, bipartisan investigation showcase pure bureaucratic mismanagement without any evidence of political interference,” said Wyden. “Groups on both sides of the political spectrum were treated equally in their efforts to secure tax-exempt status.”
This political division is par for the course in our dysfunctional Senate, but it is still frustrating to watch elected officials shy away from what needs to be done. This is a scandal that almost certainly encompasses Eric Holder and possibly even the president himself. But we’ll never get to the bottom of it, because Obama enjoys a species of political protection that is unprecedented.
House Republicans Want Change
Though not jumping to any conclusions about the intent behind the targeting, House Republicans said the report was enough to call for the removal of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio said that Koskinen had failed to cooperate with investigators, had lied to Congress, and had actively frustrated efforts to uncover the truth.
“The Senate Finance report only confirms what my colleagues and I in the House have called for. Koskinen must go,” Jordan said. “And if President Obama doesn’t remove him, then Congress must act.”
Congress, act? Now we’ve truly heard it all.
Knowing the Teflon Don in the White House, he will escape blame for this just as he has squirmed his way out of trouble a dozen times before. One might hope that his scandals will catch up to him sooner or later, but it just won’t be nearly as satisfying if he’s already out of office by the time that day comes. Oh well, his being gone will have to serve as the consolation prize.