Sen. Mike Johanns has sent a letter to Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) requesting that the committee hold a hearing concerning the recently revealed practices of the Internal Revenue Service targeting specific conservative groups.
According to Johanns' office, it was learned last week that the IRSsingled out political groups to be more closely monitored. Groups with phrases and words like "tea party," "patriot,"or those calling for reduced government spending were targeted, and in some casesasked for their donor lists, which is against most IRS policies.
Sen. Johanns said, "Secretary Lew testifiedbefore Congress that politics shouldn't influence the execution of our tax lawsjust days before we found out that the opposite has been going on at IRS forover two years."
"Every Member of Congress,regardless of party, owes it to the American people to demand answers aboutthis disturbing practice – including who knew about it and when, who authorizedit, and why it was allowed to continue in secrecy for so long," continued Johanns. "The first stepin getting those answers is calling a hearing, which is what I'm doing today."
The Financial Servicesand General Government subcommittee, which Johanns serves as the top Republican, hasoversight of the IRS budget.