Hatch on IRS Targeting Conservative Groups
Utah Senator Demands Detailed Information About Who Knew What When, Expects Full Briefing and Report from IRS
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, issued the following statement today after the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) apologized for targeting conservative groups:
“While I’m glad to see the IRS apologize for unfairly targeting conservative groups, this frankly isn’t enough. We need to have ironclad guarantees from the IRS that it will adopt significant protocols to ensure this kind of harassment of groups – whether liberal, conservative or moderate -- that have a constitutional right to express their own views never happens again. As several Senators and I wrote to the IRS last year, there can be no tolerance for the IRS being turned into a political weapon; it has a chilling and, frankly, Nixonian effect on those who wish to speak their mind. I will be discussing this further with the head of the IRS and expect a full briefing and report as to how this happened. The American people deserve to know who at the IRS learned about this unlawful activity, when they learned about it, and what they did, or did not, do when they did learned about it.”
NOTE: Hatch has spearheaded efforts in Congress to prevent politics from playing a role in any action taken on non-profit 501(c)(4) organizations. Last August, 9 Senators joined Hatch in a letter to IRS Commissioner Shulman asking the agency to clarify its intentions for 501(c)(4) organizations. In March 2012, a dozen Republican Senators called on the IRS to prevent politics from playing a role in any action taken on non-profit 501(c)(4) organizations after several groups applying for the status received excessive follow-up inquiries from the agency. A similar group of Senators, questioned the agency’s preservation of privacy protections for these groups in June 2012.