House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) criticized President Barack Obama's administration Tuesday morning while pushing for an "open and transparent" investigation of the Internal Revenue Service for targeting conservative groups ahead of the 2012 election.
“How dare the administration imply that they’re going to get to the bottom of it,” Issa said on CBS's "This Morning." “This was the targeting of the president’s political enemies effectively and lies about it during the election year so that it wasn’t discovered until afterwards. The fact is this is the kind of investigation that has to be open and transparent to the American people.”
"I have got no patience with it, I will not tolerate it, and we will make sure that we find out exactly what happened on this," Obama said on Monday.
Issa isn't the only lawmaker hurling criticism over the IRS scandal. HuffPost's Sam Stein reported earlier:
News broke last Friday that the IRS had targeted groups with the words "Tea Party" or "Patriot" in their name, forcing them to fill out additional questionnaires and provide more information in order to get approval for their tax-exempt status. Over the weekend, the Wall Street Journal reported that the IRS had also given extra scrutiny to organizations that focused on government spending, debt and taxes.
Lawmakers have responded with anger and outrage. On Monday morning, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) called on the IRS commissioner to be fired. The senator's office confirmed to The Huffington Post that he was referring to Steven Miller, the acting commissioner. The Senate has not yet confirmed a full-time commissioner since Douglas Shulman, a Bush appointee, stepped down this past fall.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), meanwhile, called for a "congressional investigation to determine" how the IRS scandal took place. Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, said that "The IRS should be prepared for a full investigation into this matter by the Senate Finance Committee."
The results of such an investigation will ultimately determine whether the story amounts to a case of terrible bureaucratic judgment or becomes a wider political scandal.