The Hill has a piece desperately trying to perform damage control for the Obama Administration by somehow insisting that the GOP is abandoning its investigation into the IRS scandal in favor of its investigation into the Benghazi scandal. It seems The Hill wants to reduce the number of Obama Administration fronts coming under fire.
The Hill states, “While Republicans are convinced that the Obama administration is stonewalling them on both matters, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and the House GOP have only set up a special committee for Benghazi. “
Yet there are a number of admissions in the piece that belie the website’s insistence that the GOP is eschewing an IRS investigation:
- In the last week, the GOP demanded Attorney General Eric Holder appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS scandal;
- Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Ga.) said, “I’m not convinced you won’t see Congress get pushed too far with the stonewalling from the administration on the IRS also … There has been absolutely no one held accountable for anything that has happened in Benghazi. We have made more progress in the Lois Lerner IRS case.”
- The House voted to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress. The GOP wants the DOJ to consider criminal charges against her.
- The House is trying to delay new IRS proposals that would affect 501(c)(4) groups that were targeted by the IRS.
- Rep. Charles Boustany (La.), a senior Republican at Ways and Means, said, “I think we’re off to a reasonable start with the IRS commissioner right now. I knew we were in for a lengthy investigation. I’ve tried not to put an arbitrary timeline on it.”
- Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.), a member of the House Oversight Committee, which is investigation both the IRS sacandal and the benghazi scandal, said, “I think they’re both important and parallel investigations, for different reasons.”
- Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.) that the GOP is suspicious of the DOJ’s open criminal investigation into the IRS as a key attorney has donated thousands of dollars to Democratic causes.
The Hill tries its darndest to create a split within the GOP, noting Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) saying, “My instinct is that it is much more a bureaucracy run amok than it was some sort of directed plot from the White House.” Of course, Cole tends to go soft on some issues; although he is a conservative; he was against defunding Obamacare if it would cause a government shutdown, and he was a fan of bill Clinton, having once said:
Looking back, Bill Clinton had a skill set that included an understanding of negotiation, namely that a Republican speaker could not frequently go against his own members. Clinton understood, and accepted, that on some things where he made a deal with Republicans he would not get his own base, but that he could be part of advancing some things with a minority of Democrats and a majority of Republicans in support.
The Hill has the gall to speak of John Koskinen, the IRS commissioner nominated by Barack Obama who avoided a possible GOP filibuster in the Senate, who had been the Non-Executive Chairman of Freddie Mac from September, 2008 to December, 2011, and his “desire to help, “saying he “has urged lawmakers to bring their investigations to a close so his agency can put the last year behind it.” Of course, The Hill doesn’t mention that in March, according to Politico:
House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and IRS chief John Koskinen sparred over the pace at which the agency is shipping documents to the panel, one of several probing the matter. “Does a nonpartisan or nonpolitical agency withhold documents requested during a congressional investigation? The IRS does and did,” the California Republican said, calling the pace of document production “dismal.” “You’ve been more concerned with managing the political fallout.” Issa repeated a threat to hold Koskinen in contempt of Congress if the documents are not swiftly produced to the committee.