Republican lawmakers are calling for a full investigation into the Internal Revenue Service after a top official revealed Friday that the agency specifically flagged tea party and conservative groups for review to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status.
Several Republicans voiced suspicion last year that the IRS was unduly focused on conservative groups, after several groups reported that they had been asked to fill out extensive amounts of paper work and go to great lengths to prove they were not violating their tax-exempt status.
Earlier today, ahead of a report by the inspector general for tax administration, the IRS admitted that it had targeted conservative groups for additional reviews, with an eye toward catching violations of tax-exempt status. Groups were singled out based on keywords such as “patriot” and “tea party” in their tax-exempt status applications, according to Lois G. Lerner, the IRS’s director of tax-exempt organizations.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and Rep. Jim Jordan sent a letter to the inspector general in June 2012 asking that the committee be provided with “periodic updates” on the investigation into whether the IRS was applying an inappropriate level of scrutiny to such groups.
“The Committee will aggressively follow up on the IG report and hold responsible officials accountable for this political retaliation,” reads a new statement on the oversight committee’s web site. A representative from the committee confirmed to The Daily Caller that this would include hearings, but did not give a time or schedule.