On Monday, Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) sent a letter to the IRS requesting detailed information about the origins of the IRS scandal. Baucus’s committee will convene a hearing on Tuesday to begin the Senate’s examination of the IRS targeting of tea party and conservative organizations. Monday’s letter details 41 specific questions about the scandal for the agency. The Senators have given the IRS until the end of May to comply.
Monday’s letter from Sens. Baucus and Hatch should put to rest any notion that the IRS scandal would soon blow over. They write that the agency’s actions “appear to be a clear breach of the public trust.” They stress that targeting groups based on their political views “is not only inappropriate but it is also intolerable.”
The resignations of Acting Commissioner Steven Miller and one of his deputies have only raised new questions as to who had knowledge of the IRS selective targeting of organizations.
On Friday, Baucus told Bloomberg News that he thought more information would come to light about the scandal as investigations got underway. Monday’s letter casts a broader net than current focus, asking about individuals subjected to audits from another division of the IRS. The letter also seeks detailed information about specific individuals, their role in the scandal, and how its existence was communicated through the Executive Branch.
If the IRS complies with the request from Baucus at the end of the month, more detailed information of the IRS scandal will come to light. We may even begin to bring accountability to the crisis.