Boehner: Obama administration displaying 'remarkable arrogance'
May 16th, 2013
12:29 PM ET
9 years 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. Dallas

    Where does this jerk get off calling anyone arrogant? The worst Speaker of the House in history who has done nothing but belittle and sabatoge the President since the day he took office with threats and intimidation – keep it up John and your republican tea party majority will be a thing of the past come election day 2014.

    May 16, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  2. SC

    I can't wait until 2014 when we will have a decent speaker of the house .

    May 16, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  3. Eric

    You have to snicker a littlte when hearing Boehner state that people should go to jail for this IRS "travesty"... while during his tenure, huge bailouts were given to banks that tanked the economy and not one of them (banker) has even sniffed a charge.
    The GOP has become the laghing stock of the world. I am embarassed that I once considered myself aligned with this group.

    May 16, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  4. iceload9

    "that could decay public trust of government" Yea would be a shame if that happened or congress did anything to cause it.

    May 16, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  5. ja

    where were you during the wmds lies, iran contra, and mision accomplished era

    May 16, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  6. sam

    And what happens when the prediction of more people involved doesnt come through? Can he promise to resign?

    May 16, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  7. Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    Worst president in history (Obama) can't even get his stories (lies) straight.

    Pathetic is the best I can describe him.

    May 16, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  8. matt houston

    I wonder where this guy was when Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld were going crazy with Iraq? Some of these guys want to impeach Obama. Ok, let's do it...but in exchange, they should support sentencing Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld for treason and execute them or give them life sentences at the very least.

    May 16, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  9. Norma jean.

    ""ARROGANCE"....THY NAME IS JOHN BOEHNER.......This is the wrong man to be calling anyone else arrogant....He stands there with a smirk on his tired face...rambling on and complaining and does absolutely nothing but cause confusion and problems...Just who is this guy and what is he supposed to be doing except taunt the president? SERIOUSLY???

    May 16, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  10. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Oh go ahead and say it Bonehead: Uppitty. The N is silent.
    Go ahead. No guts, no glory.

    May 16, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  11. RudyK

    Dallas. You have got to be kidding!! This President has done what ever he wanted and there never seem to be any consequences. Take for example Fast & Furious. They armed known bad guys and an U.S. Federal agent got killed in the process. Nothing happened. In Libya the Embassy was attacked. They had a responsibility to protect the American lives there. They didn't. They had a responsibility to be honest with the American people. They didn't. Now we find out the IRS has been harassing people with a different point of view than the current administration. Nothing will happen to Obama over this. Too many people in this country do not hold him accountable. I include you in that group. I think people like you are the problem.

    May 16, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  12. Scott

    We have faith in you Mr.Speaker of the House, keep after this corrupt adminstration, come 2014you will have lots of help when Repubs sweep the house and maintain the House. Pay no attention to these liberals that live for Goverment handouts.

    May 16, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  13. jc

    He is the worst Prez ever since jimmy carter

    May 16, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  14. MLUCK

    This goes to the top, way to the top. I can't believe people stand behind this president today, it truly is unbelieveable how little people can think for themselves. That goes to show that more people want to be taken care of today than want to take care of themselves. This president has done nothing he said he would do, the economy is a mess, no job creation, health care costs have risen and will rise even more once this all goes through. Not one single country respects the US and it's lazy ways. America the great is run by idiots.

    May 16, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  15. FLindependent

    I see another poster here recognizes that the establshment GOP may be the guilty party of targeting the Tea Party. It is well known that the GOP establishment doesn't like what the Tea Party is doing to their party in splintering it and, since the head of the IRS at the time was a Bush appointee (GOP establishment) it certainly is not hard to imagine him being ordered to scrutinize these Tea Party groups so they couldn't gain more power of the establishment.

    May 16, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  16. Me


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

    I will ask again, how did the last special election go for you??? Many on here said Sanford has NO chance, hmmmmm won by a LARGE margin even after an AFFAIR!!!!! LOL The people have started to speak!!!!!

    May 16, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  17. The REAL Truth...

    @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.
    You mean latest reports from Faux Noise ?? What is pretty clear is that the right will stoop to any level to assign meaningless blame to the POTUS. There is no logical way that he or the WH would have OK'd this type of activity, given what happened to Nixon. Let's not forget that most of us don't agree with the targeting, even if most of us are aware that those targeted groups are more likely to be involved in under the table right wing funding and politics than education.
    Let's also not forget that this is yet another Repuglican manufactured scandal, to make the IRS look bad, so the House leadership can justify yet another (34th?) attempt to repeal Obamacare.

    May 16, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "Maybe, just maybe, the establishment GOP didn't want the Tea Party taking over, have you all ever thought about that???"

    Or maybe they wanted to create the appearance that Obama's admin was targeting political opponents so that we could be treated to another witch hunt. Meh...both explanations sound tinfoil hatted.

    OR...*gets out Occam's Razor*...

    Maybe, after Citizens United, when there was an influx of thousands and thousands of these applications for every political group in the country trying to get on the dark money gravy train (being able to keep donors secret is a HUGE way to encourage donations), it caused problems for an understaffed and defunded IRS, which had been the subject of several austerity measures, and the result was poor oversight at the ground level right when the IRS was trying to figure out what standards to be using in the first place in order to flag and identify applications that raise questions. Congress has, in fact, provided extremely little guidance on how to interpret 501(c)(#) rules and with good reason: every single one of them benefits by the IRS failing and being unable to police tax-exempts that violate their status by engaging in political activities.

    May 16, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  19. DM

    Boener gets paid ALOT of money to oppose President Obama and the Democratic Party. So any words that he speaks can ONLY be in opposition, or he is considered to be in breach of whatever contract/agreement he has with his party. He will attack any and all policies of the current administration whether they are conservative or liberal in nature. He is indeed a one trick pony.

    May 16, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  20. ZoeyJ

    Boehner really, who even listens to Boehner, he is dumb at best.

    May 16, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  21. Tammy

    GOP needs to quit wasting time on trying to ouster Obama and get to work on the economy, Distracting our current admin with lies and political sideshows will not work. The american people see through the GOP games and see how they spend 99% of their time not doing anything for America but just focusing on Obama and spending man hours digging for dirt.
    They are no good losers

    May 16, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC


    Dallas. You have got to be kidding!! This President has done what ever he wanted and there never seem to be any consequences. Take for example Fast & Furious. They armed known bad guys and an U.S. Federal agent got killed in the process. Nothing happened.
    Yeah, federal agents watched people go into gun stores, purchase dozens of rifles at a time, and come out into the parking lot and sell all of them to someone waiting for them outside the store. Want to know why no one was charged with a crime? Because under AZ law, no crimes were committed.

    And please don't go on about the form AZ make sign attesting that the purchase is for your personal use. There's a loophole in the law, so that people can make purchases and give them away as gifts. Listen closely, now. The AZ law has no time limit provisions in it. You can sign it one way now, and it's perfectly legal to change your mind a minute after you complete the purchase.

    May 16, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  23. Michael

    Boehner. What an idiot.

    May 16, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  24. TheTraveler

    "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."

    Boehner is not interested in FACTS, that's plainly obvious here. He's already made up his mind, for whatever that is worth, that the problem started "higher up". So much for approaching the issue in an open minded and unbiased way.

    May 16, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  25. LogicRules

    The tan man calling out someone for being arrogant?-a sure sign the apocalypse is upon another whiskey and cigarette.

    May 16, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
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