Boehner: Obama administration displaying 'remarkable arrogance'
May 16th, 2013
12:29 PM ET
1 year ago

Boehner: Obama administration displaying 'remarkable arrogance'

Washington (CNN) - The way President Barack Obama's administration is handling itself amid parallel points of outrage displays a "remarkable arrogance" that could decay public trust of government, House Speaker John Boehner asserted Thursday.

And he predicted that when all the facts emerge on the targeting of conservative groups by the Internal Revenue Service, employees at higher levels than those in the field office where the targeting occurred will be implicated.

"Our system requires the bonds of trust between the American people and the government," Boehner said. "Those bonds, once broken, can be very hard to repair. Nothing dissolves the bonds between the people and the government like the arrogance of power here in Washington. That's what the American people are seeing today from the Obama administration. Remarkable arrogance."

On Wednesday, Obama demanded the resignation of the acting IRS commissioner Steven Miller, and vowed to take further action once more in known about who knew the targeting of conservative groups was taking place.

Boehner continued to demand more information from the Obama administration Thursday, and said criminal penalties could be in the pipeline for those who conducted the extra scrutiny on tax exempt applications.

Earlier this week he asked "who's going to jail over this scandal?" and on Thursday he cited the law prohibiting "extortion or willful repression" by revenue officers.

"I want to see the facts," Boehner said. "I want to know how this happened, who was responsible…we need to know where the facts are. Somebody made a decision to do this, and I doubt it was low level employees in this Cincinnati field office."

On Wednesday, a congressional source told CNN that the IRS has identified two "rogue" employees in the agency's Cincinnati office as being principally responsible for the "overly aggressive" handling of requests by conservative groups for tax-exempt status.


Filed under: IRS • John Boehner
soundoff (221 Responses)
  1. Lisa P.

    Good Old Chicago Ganster Politics Where Lawless Rules

    Latest reports has the number of targeted groups around 500. It is pretty clear Obama has given the wink and nod to people in his administration to do whatever they can to attack their polictical opponents and using the IRS is just another case of it. The IRS has kept these conservative organizations side lined and out of TWO election cycles. THAT is what the leftists have been trying to accomplish. And all while screaming about bogus claims of suppressing the vote. It is THEY that have been suppressing their opposition using government intimidation.
    May 16, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Explain something to me: if these organizations were applying for tax-exempt status specifically *because* they we not mainly engaged in political activity, how could their absence have affected the 2010 or 2012 elections? If they were telling the truth, which is what the IRS was trying to determine.

    By the way, here in Wisconsin we have no lack of right-wing "social welfare" groups jamming up the airwaves with phony issue ads at election time. Had any new Tea Party groups been denied their chance to funnel untraceable corporate cash into politically motivated media buys (and as I understand it now none were) I'm not sure they would have found any spots left for sale anyway. It apparently got to be a problem for our local media outlets - they had to deny air time to their regular commercial customers.

    My sympathies, of course, to any honest Tea Party groups that really did just want to hold a parade or a picnic or some other non-political social welfare event or activity. Sadly, the astroturf often tends to squeeze out the grassroots. But, you know, if you really care as much as you say you do, sending in some extra info shouldn't be a problem.

    May 16, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  2. Tom V

    If we allow this to continue what happens when a republican come into office and then they start pushing the IRS to harass all the entities that support the Dems.
    Would you cry foul then?
    It doesn't matter who is in the WH, this is an abuse of power

    May 16, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  3. GOP = Greed Over People

    Blah, blah, blah wake me when it gets more serious than delaying neo-cons request for non-profit designation, until then, blather, blather, and blather!

    May 16, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    Translation: "Uppity."

    The End.

    May 16, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  5. Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    Jobs, Jobs, Jobs was Obama's little battle cry in his SOTU address.

    Dems trying to change history as usual.

    May 16, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  6. TheObserver

    Republicans. It's really important for you to know that this guy Boehner is basically the Democrats' insurance policy to win the next Presidential election.

    He represent's everything that's currently wrong with the Repubs. Apparently the Republican definition of patriotic has evolved into a person who actively searches for reasons to hate and condemn the President, as opposed to looking for reasons to be involved and being proactive.

    Congrats Boehner, you may go down as the last attempt to incite a lynch mob. However, lynch mobs, like you and your beliefs, have already gone out of style.

    May 16, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  7. Boo

    Boehner – you talk about arrogance of the Obama administration. I submit to you...POT MEET KETTLE.

    May 16, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    "...what happens when a republican come into office and then they start pushing the IRS to harass all the entities that support the Dems."

    Same thing that happens every time GOPers are in power: everyone ignores it. IOKIYAR

    The IRS blatantly targeted liberal groups, including unions, the NAACP and even a liberal church, while Bush was POTUS and not a single GOPer nor the MSM thought it was a big deal. Suddenly, all the GOPers who were in office then and are still in office now think that kind of thing is a huge problem? Credibility fail.

    May 16, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  9. Liberal 4 Life

    Leave Obama alone. He's God in my opinion.

    May 16, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  10. Wake up People!

    Actually Bonehead, your party has been showing their arrogance ever since January 20, 2009. Ask Mitch McConnell about arrogance. I think it was very arrogant to announce to the world, that the GOP's #1 goal was to make President Obama a one term POTUS.

    But some of us know what you really wanted to say Boehner.... And the word begins with up.

    May 16, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  11. ken

    It would be nice for a change for the GOP to offer solutions rather than spend all their time trying to discredit their democratically elected gov't. This is exactly what America didn't like about the last elections yet they still choose to go down that ugly road.

    May 16, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  12. Blah

    The fact that the IRS is trying to blame this on lower level "rogue agents" is laughable.

    May 16, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  13. ritmocojo

    And he probably went into a crying fit after saying that.

    May 16, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  14. FLindependent

    Boehner protests too much – he may want to look at himself and his party and work on the trust factor with the people. He is the WORST Speaker ever!! They don't know how to govern, they don't want to do anything for the people so they throw up all of these road blocks and distractions so nothing gets done, especially the black President's agenda for the PEOPLE!!

    May 16, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  15. icoisman

    Mr orange man keep sprouting your nasty remarks, cause after 2014 you willl no longer be the speaker

    May 16, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  16. DonRoberto

    Accusations of arrogance, from the Speaker of a House majority whose primary objective is to defeat every initiative of the current President, whatever the cost? Impugnations of character, from a man who was raised in a bar and can cry on cue?

    As Abraham Lincoln, one of fewer than a handful of Republican Presidents who left the country in better shape when his Presidency ended than when it began, once famously observed, "You can fool all of the people, some of the time, and fool some of the people, all of the time. But you can't fool all of the people all of the time."

    Mr. Boehner, we see right thru you.

    May 16, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  17. ProtectAmericanJobs

    Wouldn't it be More Productive if Our Elected Leaders Started Working Together as AMERICANS for AMERICANS and AMERICA, instead of just bickering, stalling and posturing for the next election as democrats and republicans! The American People have had it with this unproductive BS! The way that both parties having been operating for years just stinks! Neither party has really been looking out for the best interests of the US Citizens who elect them and who they're supposed to represent.

    Both parties have sold out the bulk of the American citizens, who they're supposed to represent, by allowing the incursion of illegal aliens and the "out-sourcing" floodgates to open wider and wider without taking any sensible measures to stem the tide.

    It shouldn't be all about Democrats or Republicans! It should be about Americans, especially our elected officials, doing the right thing for our country and its citizens. All the single-minded, left versus right, ideological one dimensional bull has got to go!

    Both parties need to start working together and actually start doing something to fix the real problems in our country like "out-sourcing", illegal immigration, the out of control costs of health care insurance and our reliance on foreign fuel. If they don't start working together and actually start making progress by the next election, then American citizens should run a nation-wide campaign to vote out all incumbents regardless of party to send the message.

    The ONLY REAL FIX is to Raise Revenue, by Bringing Back Jobs to US Citizens who Pay Income Tax.

    We need to make smart cuts, but massive cutting just puts more people on unemployment, which just depresses the economy even further.

    Returning private sector jobs to American Citizens will provide income tax revenue to OUR Government versus our government having to pay unemployment benefits to those who would be jobless instead. We need our elected officials to Start Protecting American Jobs and do whatever it takes to bring back the jobs they let go. We need leaders who will actually stand up for the American people.

    The bottom line is that “Our Government” has to protect domestic industry and the jobs that those industries provide. If they do that, the rest will take care of itself.

    We may have to pay a bit more for products made here in the USA by US citizens, but at least we'll still have jobs and a future for our children.

    May 16, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  18. FLindependent

    "Latest reports has the number of targeted groups around 500. It is pretty clear Obama has given the wink and nod to people in his administration to do whatever they can to attack their polictical opponents and using the IRS is just another case of it. The IRS has kept these conservative organizations side lined and out of TWO election cycles. THAT is what the leftists have been trying to accomplish. And all while screaming about bogus claims of suppressing the vote. It is THEY that have been suppressing their opposition using government intimidation."
    _______________________________________
    Don't tell us, you got this latest news from Faux News, right? If you would all use your noggins you would realize the head guy at the IRS at the time this was happening was a Bush appointee. Maybe, just maybe, the establishment GOP didn't want the Tea Party taking over, have you all ever thought about that???

    May 16, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  19. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    "Our system requires the bonds of trust between the American people and the government,"
    --------------------------------------------–
    Exactly Boehner! We can't trust YOU to do the job of the people or hold up your end of a bargain. Where are those JOBS JOBS JOBS?

    May 16, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    Jobs, Jobs, Jobs was Obama's little battle cry in his SOTU address.

    Dems trying to change history as usual.
    --------------------
    Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, was the Republican battel cry in 2010, for which they were awarded the House and whittled away at the Democratic majority in the Senate. What achievements have they made in the House on Jobs? Better yet, what legislation have they passed aimed, either specifically or indirectly, at job creation?

    May 16, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  21. Paul

    Seriously? Abuse of power Boehner? Way to flip your obstructionist ways back in someone else's lap. Classic. You and McConnell are the two biggest abusers of power going!

    May 16, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  22. Patrick in Minnesota

    Republicans need to start realizing that this Boehner guy is bad news for the Republicans. He can't lead his own caucus, he resorts to name calling when he runs out of facts, and no one takes him seriously on either side. If Republicans are still in charge after 2014 (which I doubt), they need to show this guy the door. I'd also say the same about Pelosi...

    May 16, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    Blah

    The fact that the IRS is trying to blame this on lower level "rogue agents" is laughable.
    -----------------------
    The fact that most of Pres. Obama's opponents either don't know, or have otherwise forgotten, that thanks to Richard M. Nixon it is illegal for the POTUS to directly communicate with the IRS. Or maybe that's the charge they're looking for.

    May 16, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  24. ClydeTheSlyde

    My 2 cents...

    The white house is the last place to look for blame in the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups. The Tea Party's rise has introduced a schism in the GOP, a divide that helped seal Obama's reelection.

    Miller, the outgoing IRS director was appointed by Bush. His appointment was most certain at the suggestion of Bush's chief advisor, Carl Rove. It's no secret about the considerable enmity between Rove and the Tea Party. Rove sees the tea party as a barrier to his control on maintaining the "purity" of the GOP establishment.

    I hope someone with the proper gravitas has the gumption to pusue this Bush/Rove connection.

    May 16, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  25. PJ

    I just don't believe that Obama would sanction these acts. His "inner circle" is a risk and the further we go out in the circles the more risk we have. Obama is a good man who would never sanction deceit or lies.

    May 16, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
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