Ways and Means

Did the Former IRS Chief Lie About Tea Party Targeting?

Douglas Shulman

Former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman has some explaining to do, though whether Tea Party and conservative groups targeted by the agency during his tenure will get any answers remains to be seen.

In a March 2012 appearance before the appearance before the House Ways and Means Committee, Shulman was asked about the allegations by Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA).

“We’ve seen some recent press allegations that the IRS is targeting certain Tea Party groups across the country — requesting owners’ documents requests, delaying approval for tax-exempt status and that kind of thing,” noted Boustany. “Can you elaborate on what’s going on with that? Can you give us assurances that the IRS is not targeting particular groups based on political leanings?”

Shulman didn’t beat around the bush in his response. He explicitly denied that the IRS was targeting specific groups.

“[L]et me start by saying, yes, I can give you assurances,” Shulman said in response. “As you know, we pride ourselves on being a non-political, non-partisan organization. I am the only — me and our chief counsel — are the only presidential appointees, and I have a five-year term that runs through presidential elections, just so we will have none of that kind of political intervention in things that we do.”

Shulman essentially blamed the organizations. He claimed that those complaining about targeting by the IRS were were in the “application process” and had come to the agency “voluntarily.”

1099 repeal coming back in the House

Democrats are going to bring a repeal of the 1099 provision of ObamaCare back to the floor for the third time, but they will continue to play games with it:

Senate Democrats voted down a Republican plan to repeal the provision Tuesday — the same day that Senate Republicans voted down a Democratic plan to repeal the measure.

Now Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee are considering a new push to repeal the provision, and a floor vote could come as soon as next week. But their plan, like all of the others, comes with strings attached that will make it virtually impossible for the other party to sign on.

The provision in question requires any business that spends more than $600 with a particular vendor to report the expenditure on a 1099 tax form. Lawmakers from both parties say that it’s too onerous and would bury businesses — particularly small ones — in a sea of unnecessary paperwork.

The provision is opposed by the United States Chamber of Commerce, the Obama Administration and several members of Congress in tough re-election bids support removing nixing this job killer.

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