The man who resigned amidst scandal as the head of the Internal Revenue Service last week will appear this morning before the U.S. Senate Finance Committee. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley wants Steven Miller to explain how the tax collection agency ended up targeting conservative political groups for such close scrutiny.
“I want records of communication on the issue between the Internal Revenue Service and the White House or any other organization in government,” Grassley says. “It’s part of getting to the bottom of how targeting came about and how it was handled inside the administration.”
The IRS is the focus of a Congressional investigation after it was revealed the agency was inappropriately singling out conservative organizations, including tea party activists and anti-abortion groups, for special probes about their tax-exempt status.
“The IRS is the most-feared federal agency and this situation builds on public mistrust,” Grassley says, “especially as the IRS will have even more power starting in January because a big part of its job is going to be enforcing the new health care law.” Grassley, a Republican, says he also wants to question Miller and others to learn what President Obama knew about the situation and when.
“The president might not have been well-served by his aides who didn’t tell him about the situation right away,” Grassley says. “That also then raises questions of what else the White House chief of staff and counsel are keeping from the president and why the president is running the White House in the way that allows this sort of non-communication to happen.”
Grassley says members of Congress have been asking about the IRS’ targeting for more than a year and got no response.