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Oversight Committee Rushes to Schedule Vote to Censure IRS Commissioner

Jun 13, 2016
Press Release

Oversight Committee Rushes to Schedule  Vote to Censure IRS Commissioner

 

Chaffetz Attempts to Leapfrog Over Judiciary Committee

 

Washington, DC (June 13, 2016)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, issued the following statement after Chairman Jason Chaffetz announced a business meeting on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, to vote on his resolution to censure IRS Commissioner John Koskinen—a week before the Judiciary Committee plans to hold its next hearing to investigate the issue:

“It is inexplicable that the Oversight Committee is pressing forward with a vote before the Judiciary Committee completes its review.  We have no idea why Chairman Chaffetz is rushing forward with his own vote, but this process is totally backwards.  The Republican Inspector General found absolutely no evidence that anyone at the IRS targeted any conservative groups for political reasons, and no evidence that Commissioner Koskinen obstructed the investigation.  Yet Republicans seem to have selective amnesia in their political crusade against the IRS.”

On Wednesday, the Oversight Committee will consider and vote on the resolution introduced by Chaffetz to censure Koskinen and express the sense of the House that he should resign or be fired and forfeit his government pension and other federal benefits.  The resolution has no practical effect on Koskinen and does not affect his position or benefits.

The rush to vote on the resolution comes a week before the Judiciary Committee plans to hold Part 2 of its series of hearings to examine the accusations against Koskinen.  Part 1, held on May 24, 2016, featured a presentation by Chaffetz and Rep. Ron DeSantis.

Tellingly, Republicans failed to call IRS Inspector General Russell George as a witness.  George—a holdover chosen by President George W. Bush who served previously as the Republican staff director of a subcommittee of the Oversight Committee—identified no evidence that the IRS targeted any conservative groups for political reasons and no evidence that Commissioner Koskinen obstructed Congress, the Inspector General, or the Department of Justice.  

Cummings penned an op-ed making this point:  “So the question for Republicans is, where is Mr. George?  Why haven’t they invited him to testify?  Could it be because he found nothing to substantiate their baseless claims?”

In a statement for the hearing record, Cummings stated:  “John Koskinen is an honorable public servant who agreed to come out of retirement to lead the IRS in 2013 at a very challenging time.  He is now being unfairly maligned, and the allegations against him are unfounded.  This resolution has no merit and should be withdrawn immediately.”

Cummings also released a Fact v. Fiction document dispelling baseless Republican claims against the IRS Commissioner.

The Committee refused to allow into the official hearing record a statement submitted by Koskinen to correct inaccuracies and rebut these unsubstantiated claims.

 

 

 

114th Congress