Reps. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., and Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, called for independent investigations of the Internal Revenue Service for singling out organizations for extra scrutiny based on their political leanings.

Bustos called it "deeply troubling" and condemned "this apparent abuse of power in the strongest possible terms." She said on Tuesday that those found responsible should be held accountable.

Loebsack, meanwhile, said firings should be considered.

"If it is found that these allegations are true, I urge the swift dismissal of those involved in the wrongdoing" as well as anyone who knew about it and didn't act to investigate, he said.

The IRS acknowledged last week that it singled out conservative groups that had applied for tax-exempt status. On Tuesday, the Justice Department said a criminal investigation has been opened.

The IRS apologized last week and said the extra scrutiny was the work of lower-level employees in its Cincinnati office. However, The Associated Press reported Tuesday that offices in California and Washington, D.C., also sought "extensive information" from tea party groups asking for nonprofit status.

The AP also reported that Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, sent a letter to the IRS concerning the timing of its disclosure that it had targeted tea party and other conservative groups.

Grassley asked for records relating to the agency's decision to make the disclosure at a conference last Friday rather than to Congress, which has been asking for some time about the allegations.

Tea party groups complained during the 2010 election cycle about extra scrutiny.

Grassley also asked to know about any contacts with the White House on the matter.

Colin Milligan, a spokesman for Bustos, said the House and Senate committees with oversight of the IRS ought to appoint an independent commission, "made up of people not in Congress or the Administration" to investigate the matter.

He said Bustos thinks such an independent investigation is needed to avoid "political gamesmanship that all too often occurs inside congressional hearing rooms and for our government to make real progress towards regaining the public trust."

(4) comments

twiggy
twiggy

Hate to disappoint, no one is jumping ship. No one wants anyone targeted because of their politics. It is interesting, mildly, that the only 501c4 application which was denied was a liberal one. Luckily, most folks are smart enough to know the IRS is not a political agency. Mr Obama does not have any control over it. The IRS commissioner when this happened was Douglas Schulman, he is actually a member of the GOP who was appointed by Bush. But, I don't expect most on the far right know that, or care. This is a terrible thing to have happen, it should NOT happen, ever. Some who aren't too up on things will giggle with glee, thinking they "got it on Obama" Knock yourselves out. reality will be different, I predict.

olenumber7

Oh my!!! Look at the Libs jumping from the Obama ship now. These liberals would have gladly stood by and watched any Conservative group go down but now that the cat is out of the bag these 2 ultra liberals say they want an independent investigation. Yah right. The liberals are criminals! These 2 would have been right on board with the persecution of conservatives. Isn't it interesting now that the Emperor has no clothes!

mommakelly
mommakelly

Here's the difference between you all and us....we don't support actions that are wrong...no matter the party. When Bush invaded Iraq and went into Afghanistan, implemented the Patriot Act and gave tax breaks to the wealthy, you all screamed, from the top of every building, "Any person who doesn't support our President is a Socialist, Marxist, Commie Un"Mrkan! Get out of our country!" (sound familiar?) We, on the other hand, say, "This is wrong. You're right. Let's change this and hold the people, no matter the party, responsible." Hard for you to understand? Yeah...go figure.

Wasteline

@mommakelly,
If it turns out that this goes as high as the Whitehouse Office of Political Affairs, do you then begin to defend the action or will you be consistant with your condemnation of these acts?
I'm betting Loebsack and Bustos will circle the wagons and start blaming a right wing conspiracy and FOX.
Someone is going to jail over this, if it goes up to the Whitehouse Chief of Staff, are you on board with that?

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