Today, the House Ways and Means Committee heard testimony from the representatives of six conservative groups who were targeted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) based on their political beliefs. A member of the committee, Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) released the following statement after the hearing:
"Today, we heard powerful testimony from victims of the IRS political targeting. These Americans verified, through personal examples, the IRS's intimidation, harassment, and inappropriate requests effectively silenced these small educational and volunteer-led groups based solely on their constitutionally-protected political beliefs.
"Their testimony was shocking, and it is unbelievable that this type of discrimination could have occurred in our country. The groups should never have been asked such intrusive, irrelevant and politically-charged questions to apply for tax-exempt status. Information requested of these groups in lengthy IRS questionnaires included: whether the group planned to hold voter registration drives, if they organized any protests, and detailed donor lists. This is simply outrageous and wrong, and should never have happened.
"At the heart of all these scandals is a government that has gotten too big, too unruly. From the IRS unfairly targeting individuals, to wasting taxpayer dollars on dance lessons, it has run amok. If there was ever a time for tax reform, to ensure the IRS can never abuse their power again, it's now. Congress must make sure this never happens again."