What a day. It started with Republican water carrier Chuck Todd calling the Republican IRS witch hunt what it is on MSNBC: A partisan stunt. So things aren’t going as planned for Republicans.
And then, as Republicans geared up to pass a resolution calling for a Special Counsel to investigate the IRS — because there’s never too many ways to waste taxpayer money for “small government” Republicans when it comes to their campaign sound bites — a disgusted and fed up Sandy Levin (Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI)) called them out on turning the House into a circus.
Rep. Levin (who’s been ON FIRE lately) started off his floor statement by calling out that Republicans were turning the Institution into a political arm of the GOP.
“This Institution must not be turned into an arm of either political party. That’s what House Republicans are doing here. It’s been a year since multiple committee investigations began into the IRS handling of 501 c 4 organizations – and Republicans are no closer to finding evidence to back up their baseless allegations of a ‘White House enemies list’ or a ‘White House culture of cover-up,’ as Republicans said on Day 1.”
In February, it was determined that the Republicans’ IRS witch hunt had already cost taxpayers at least $14 million. In early May, Speaker John Boehner also announced that he was appointing a select committee to investigate Benghazi, so that’s more money being wasted trying to drum up some Republican campaign ad sound bites. Meanwhile, Republicans have already been busted trying to use their fake, ginned up IRS scandal in order to protect their dark money sources like Karl Rove’s Crosssroads.
Levin laid it out:
· More than 250 employees at the IRS have worked more than 100,000 hours and sent nearly 700,000 pages of documents to Ways and Means in response to Republican requests.
· More than 60 interviews have been conducted.
· $14 million in taxpayer money has been spent by the IRS responding to the Congressional Investigations.
“And here is what we know:
· Documents show that the IRS used inappropriate criteria to treat progressive groups as they did for Conservative Groups.
· There was never any evidence of White House involvement. Nada.
· There was never any evidence of political motivation. In fact, before the flawed audit was published last May, the IG’s head of investigations reviewed 5,500 pages of documents and determined that there was ‘no indication that pulling these selected applications was politically motivated.’ Instead, the head of investigations said the cases were consolidated due to ‘unclear processing directions.’
“So the Republicans say they want an independent investigation – but they really want to do is to interrupt the investigation going on and pre-empt it with their own political theatre.
And finally…. Levin slammed Republicans for running the House like a political circus, “This is the House of Representatives, not a political circus.”
This was no doubt a deliberate slam against Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) who swore that this investigation would not be a circus, in the middle of his impeachment wind up games, “This is all about getting to the truth. This is not going to be a sideshow. This is not going to be a circus. This is a serious investigation. Our system of government depends on transparency and accountability.”
That’s accountability for Obama, but none for House Republicans, in case anyone is keeping track. The media isn’t too interested in how House Republicans are abusing their power, wasting taxpayer money, working less days and achieving record lows, while failing to legislate in order to do what Republicans do when they lose power – go McCarthy.
The IRS doesn’t need this crap, especially not for doing their jobs, and especially after Republicans defunded them to the extent that they can barely function. The IRS needs funding, not phony partisan witch hunts. Republicans need to pack up their desperate circus act and take it on the road with their tent revival meetings, where it belongs.
The House is supposed to be a place of legislating the people’s business, not conducting investigations for the sole purpose of providing easily cherry picked sound bites for Republican 2014 campaigns. Republicans lost Chuck Todd, and that should be Clue Number 1 that it’s time to give up on their fake IRS scandal fantasies.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ 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.