IRS Scandal: Three Names You’ll Hear More About this Week
(WASHINGTON) — Last week might have seemed like the longest one ever for the Internal Revenue Service, but this one isn’t looking much better, with another congressional hearing scheduled to probe the agency’s targeting of tea party groups.
Two senior IRS officials have already resigned: Steven Miller, the agency’s acting commissioner, and Joseph Grant, the commissioner for tax-exempt and government agencies.
At a House Ways and Means Committee hearing last Friday morning, lawmakers indicated that they believe more departures are necessary.
And this week, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will call additional witnesses from the IRS to find out more about what happened.
Here are three names you’re likely to hear more about this week:
Lerner is the director of tax-exempt organizations and is the official who chose to reveal the scandal by answering a question she planted at the American Bar Association on May 10. Lerner is the official directly in charge of the unit responsible for implementing policies that targeted conservative groups based on their names.
Even though an inspector general investigation found that when Lerner first became aware of the practice in June 2011, she ordered the criteria changed to focus on general political activity or lobbying, many in Congress say she should not get a free pass.
Lerner will testify before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday.
Miller took most of the heat in the House Oversight Committee hearing last Friday, but his predecessor, Shulman, would have been the agency’s top official during the time when the IRS singled out conservative groups.
Already, there are signs that Democrats and Republicans will fight about exactly how much blame falls on Shulman’s lap for the leadership failures at the agency, which the IRS inspector general’s report exposed.
Shulman, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, is no longer with the IRS since he left the agency Nov. 9, 2012.
He is expected to testify before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday.
Sarah Hall Ingram
Now the director of the IRS’ Affordable Care Act office, Ingram held the title of commissioner of tax-exempt and government entities for much of the past three years.
The IRS insists that Ingram has not actually been responsible for the day-to-day operations of the tax-exempt office since late 2010, when she moved over to the Affordable Care Act Office. But she held the title of commissioner until 2012, according to testimony she made to Congress.
Republicans, who have sought to link this IRS scandal with the Affordable Care Act for days, will continue to ask whether the agency can be entrusted with fairly implementing the law in light of this scandal.
Ingram was mentioned several times during Friday’s House proceedings, and Miller defended her performance as a “superb civil servant.”
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