Collins says IRS revelations will fuel government distrust
May 12th, 2013
09:58 AM ET
9 years ago

Collins says IRS revelations will fuel government distrust

(CNN) – President Barack Obama should personally condemn the Internal Revenue Service for putting extra scrutiny on conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status, Sen. Susan Collins said Sunday.

The Maine Republican said the disclosure that a government agency would go after groups with "tea party" or "patriot" in their names would only add to a growing sense of mistrust Americans have in their government. She was one of a number of Republicans who blasted the IRS on Sunday's talk shows.

"This is truly outrageous. And it contributes to the profound distrust that the American people have in government. It is absolutely chilling that the IRS was singling out conservative groups for extra review. And I think that it's very disappointing that the president hasn't personally condemned this and spoken out," Collins told CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley on "State of the Union."

Obama spokesman Jay Carney said Saturday the president believes the government should be staffed with "the very best public servants with the highest levels of integrity" and that "based on recent media reports, (the president) is concerned that the conduct of a small number of Internal Revenue Service employees may have fallen short of that standard."

That doesn't go far enough for Collins, who said "the president needs to make crystal clear that this is totally unacceptable in America."

Rep. Mike Rogers, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, called for a full investigation of the IRS' practices, something Republicans and Democrats have said is necessary after learning of the conservative targeting.

"I don't care if you're a conservative, a liberal, a Democrat or a Republican, this should send a chill up your spine," Rogers said on "Fox News Sunday."

A congressional investigation would probe who knew what and when, Rep. Darrell Issa told CNN Sunday. Issa is the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight.

"The fact is if you're doing something and it's wrong, it's illegal, it's the kind of thing that scares the American people to their core, when Americans are being targeted for audits based on their political beliefs, that needs to change," he said.

Collins questioned the IRS assertion that only a small group of its employees were responsible for the targeting of conservative groups, and wondered why a similar screening process wasn't established for groups with "progressive" in their names.

And she pointed to new reports indicating senior IRS officials were aware of the targeting of conservative groups beginning in 2011, saying those officials should have taken disciplinary action against the employees involved.

"You would think that the high level IRS supervisors would have rushed to make this public, fired the employees involved and apologize to the American people and informed Congress. None of that happened in a timely way," she said.

Filed under: IRS • Susan Collins
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    Dose the NRA Taxes ?

    The NRA Foundation was created in 1990 to raise tax-exempt funds for gun education

    May 12, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  2. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Uh... like ANYONE has EVER trusted the IRS??

    May 12, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  3. Donkey Party

    Collins is incorrect in her assertion. It's the GOP that fuels mistrust in the government. That is where the true accountability is. Why the GOP hasn't been charged with treason and sedition is the real travesty.

    May 12, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  4. don in albuquerque

    Since the IRS was founded it was discovered early on that this was a good way to keep track of subversive groups. The Tea Baggers are about as subversive as you can get. Good job to the kids at the IRS. Now put a few of them in prison.

    May 12, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  5. jillib

    "Collins says IRS revelations will fuel government distrust"

    Can the already paranoid get any more so? Those are the folks this will impact, the rest will go about the daily lives with barely any recognition.

    May 12, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  6. Richard Long

    Obama is using the IRS as his personal political weapon. And the IRS is supposed to be the enforcers of ObamaCare?!

    May 12, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  7. AK_Steve

    Like the tea party needed another reason to distrust the government.

    May 12, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  8. truth hurts but reality bites

    This very type of activity was listed in the articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon. It is THAT serious. There have been very real violations of the law and every person involved or that knew about it and failed to stop it or report it needs to be immediately fired and charges filed. It needs to be determined how far up the food chain this activity went because the head of the IRS specifically denied it was happening when he went before Congress. As the old saying goes, "The fish rots from the head."

    May 12, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  9. Thomas

    truth hurts but reality bites
    This very type of activity was listed in the articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon.


    Stop Bashing Dick Nixon !
    The only thing in common with the NRA , Scientology and Freedom works is there tax exempt status .

    May 12, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  10. f ray

    YES! I distrust a government that doles out tax exempt status to ever cult that pops up. want to end this, then ENS TAX EXEMPT STATUS FOR EVERYTHING!

    May 12, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  11. rla

    Too bad this may be illegal in America but is SOP in Chicago! Make the link!

    May 12, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |