Rep. Kelly Presses for Answers from IRS at Ways & Means Hearing

Jun 27, 2013
Rep. Kelly Presses for Answers from IRS  at Ways & Means Hearing

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WASHINGTON — Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA), a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means, questioned the Principal Deputy Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Daniel Werfel, at today’s full committee hearing on the IRS’s recent report, authored by Mr. Werfel, detailing the agency’s widely condemned targeting practices.

Rep. Kelly’s remarks to IRS Principal Deputy Commissioner Werfel:

“When I’m back home in Western Pennsylvania, people ask me… ‘Why are they [the IRS] able to do this and why are they able to continue doing these things and nothing happens?’”

“Our role as Congress is to be here for the people that we represent. … We’re so concerned about these individuals’ [the IRS employees’] rights and privacy, but for these folks that were targeted, we don’t have the same amount of concern. … All those things [rights and privacy] seem to be second-hand to an agency that you’re running right now — there’s over 90,000 people … an $11 billion budget. … Is there any doubt that anything this big and this expensive could possibly be reined it? I don’t understand how you’re going to do it.”

“People pleading the Fifth when they come before the People’s House to answer questions about something that they could be involved in – I know there’s a rule of law, I can appreciate that – but that adds then to the public’s distrust and loss of faith in the government.”

“The people that I represent back in Northwest Pennsylvania … they don’t believe right now that there is going to be a serious inquiry into this, and they don’t think that the IRS is going to come out on its own and do it or that the administration is going to do it on its own. It’s going to be up to us in Congress to continue to look for what the answers are. … This is critical to the faith and trust that the people have in this government. Right now, their tank’s running on zero because we haven’t seen anything yet that makes sense to the American people that this is fair and just to them.”

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Rep. Kelly: “The people [in the IRS] that were let go… they really haven’t been ‘let go,’ have they? ... It’s an easy answer — either they were let go or they weren’t.”

Mr. Werfel: “Has anyone been fired yet as a procedural matter? No…”

Rep. Kelly: “Because the way government works, they usually get redeployed. I haven’t seen anybody get let go for anything. … When people go on a leave of absence, it’s always paid. And I think for the American taxpayers, they’d like to think… ‘Shouldn’t somebody be watching our dollars?’”

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