August 01,2013

Press Contact:

Julia Lawless, Antonia Ferrier, 202.224.4515

Hatch on President’s Nomination of John Koskinen to Serve as Next IRS Commissioner

WASHINGTON – Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) issued the following statement after President Obama announced that he is nominating John Koskinen to serve as the next Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS):

“As is always the case, this nominee will be fairly and thoroughly considered by the Finance Committee and the Senate to serve as the next IRS Commissioner.  But given the magnitude of the scandal facing the IRS, I am more than a little mystified that neither the President nor the Secretary of Treasury either consulted with or told me in advance about this decision to select this nominee.

“This is an agency that, at the highest levels in Washington, knew of and allowed to continue the outrageous targeting of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.  Furthermore, I truly hope the Obama Administration ceases and desists from trying to close the door on Congress’ investigations into the IRS when the President committed in May to fully work with us to get to the bottom of what happened.  I would remind them that it is Congress’ duty – as laid out in the Constitution – to oversee the executive branch.  

“To say, as President Obama said, that Congress is undertaking a ‘phony’ investigation, or, as Secretary Lew did this past Sunday, that politics played no part in the IRS’ targeting when the Finance Committee has received only a miniscule fraction of the documents we’ve requested can only lead me to believe that the Administration isn’t interested in getting to the truth and would rather this matter go away.  My response is that I will not stop until the truth comes out and I will demand significant answers from this nominee to ensure that we not only get to the truth, but that the Administration is fully cooperating with our efforts.

“Lastly, Mr. Koskinen will need to address many questions about the IRS’ ability to implement ObamaCare.  It’s imperative that this nominee explain to the American people how the agency will safeguard the over $1 trillion in premium subsidies from being doled out to those seeking to game the system, while protecting sensitive taxpayer information.  The IRS also needs to do a much better job at stopping refundable tax credits from inappropriately going out the door.”