Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Sen. Casey sees "unlawful activity" in IRS scandal

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr., the newest member of the Senate Finance Committee, today said he believes crimes were committed in the controversial targeting of conservative non-profit groups by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. But Casey warned that members of Congress should "act responsibly" and not use the scandal for political gain.

Sen. Casey sees "unlawful activity" in IRS scandal

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pennsylvania. (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)
U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pennsylvania. (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr., the newest member of the Senate Finance Committee, today said he believes crimes were committed in the controversial targeting of conservative non-profit groups by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.  But Casey warned that members of Congress should "act responsibly" and not use the scandal for political gain.

The Finance Committee, which has oversight for the IRS, will hold a hearing Tuesday about the scandal.  Casey joined the committee on Feb. 12 after U.S. Sen. John Kerry resigned to become Secretary of State.  Casey's Republican colleague in Pennsylvania, U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, is also on the committee.

Casey said he wants to know how the IRS office in Cincinnati started targeting Tea Party and Patriot groups using "inappropriate criteria" and what will be done to prevent such use of a "political point of view" at the agency in the future.  His main concern: "What measure of accountability" will be used.

"I would argue this misconduct rises to the level of unlawful activity," said Casey, who said the most disturbing part of a report prepared by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration was that IRS employees in Cincinnati returned to using the criteria after being told to stop by agency officials.

Toomey, in an afternoon conference call with reporters, said he wants to know who in the IRS made the decision to use the politically-based criteria to examine non-profit applications. He also wants to know who decided to resume using the criteria after being told to stop by IRS officials.

"This should not be a partisan concern," Toomey said. "Every American should be concerned. I would be equally outraged if the IRS was doing this to liberal organizations."

About this blog
William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
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