According to an IRS letter just released, Representative Darrell Issa’s (R-CA) and the Republicans’ manufactured IRS investigation/campaign ad has cost the taxpayers $14 million dollars and counting.
$14 million wasted on a witch hunt, as they refuse to pass any real legislation and claim that we must make cuts to programs to help the vulnerable. And they’re not done yet. Republicans are holding two hearings this week in the Oversight Committee and one in the Appropriations Committee.
Given all of the secrecy and careful orchestration surrounding Issa’s witch hunts, how do we even know what the IRS witch hunt is costing? We only know because Representatives Sander Levin and Elijah Cummings, the Ranking Members of the House Ways and Means Committee and Oversight and Government Reform Committee, asked the IRS on February 7 in a letter. Today they released a letter from IRS Commissioner John Koskinen regarding the money and resources spent on the Republican witch hunt.
The costs, which are explained as the “conservative approach”, detailed in Koskinen’s letter are $8 million in direct costs like salaries, benefits, and travel, plus an additional $6 million to $8 million to “add capacity to information technology systems to process materials to investigators.”
All of this was spent when Darrell Issa knew from the beginning that there was nothing to see. Documents were presented at his witch hunt that were deliberately redacted to tell a false story that Republicans wanted the public to hear.
Levin and Cummings are not impressed. The released a statement, “After one of the most far-reaching investigations in recent history—spanning multiple House and Senate Committees that obtained hundreds of thousands of documents and interviewed dozens of officials—there is absolutely zero evidence of political motivation or White House involvement. Despite this fact, Republicans remain fixated on falsely accusing the White House of targeting its political enemies, wasting millions of dollars in an attempt to reignite their partisan inquiry before the November elections.”
It is clear that Darrell Issa and the House GOP are actually the party guilty of using taxpayer funds to conduct a political witch hunt, while claiming that their party is being targeted by a taxpayer funded organization.
Issa and the GOP spent 14 million targeting Democrats so far, and they’ve come up with nothing.
NOTHING. Just more ways to waste government money, from the party of “fiscal conservatism” and “small government”. And it’s not just the actual money spent, but the idea of resources. The IRS was already underfunded.
Maybe Republicans need to pay-as-you-go for their witch hunts. If there isn’t a certain level of evidence to support their accusations, or if they are proven wrong, they must pay back a percentage of the costs. You know, like responsible grown ups would.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.