Today, Reps. Sander Levin and Elijah Cummings, the Ranking Members of the House Ways and Means Committee and Oversight and Government Reform Committee, released a letter from IRS Commissioner John Koskinen documenting the significant funds expended by the IRS in responding to Congressional inquiries to date, including $8 million in direct costs--such as salaries, benefits, and travel--and an additional $6 million to $8 million to add capacity to information technology systems to process materials to investigators.
The IRS letter, which was sent in response to a request from Levin and Cummings on February 7, 2014, stated that 255 IRS employees have spent 97,542 hours responding to congressional investigations to date. It also said the IRS cost estimate is based on a "conservative approach" and does not take into account "ancillary support costs," such as indirect work by the offices of Legislative Affairs, Public Affairs, Human Capital, and the Executive Secretariat.
Through the course of the nine-month investigations, the IRS has produced more than 500,000 pages of documents and made available 35 former and current IRS employees for interviews. Treasury and IRS officials have testified on the topic at 15 congressional hearings. And yet, there is zero evidence of any political motivation or outside involvement.
Levin and Cummings released the following statement after receiving the IRS cost estimate:
"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."
Despite no evidence of political motivation, House Republicans are continuing to obsess over this issue, holding two hearings just this week in the Oversight Committee and one in the Appropriations Committee, and devoting time on the floor today to a measure that would delay proposed regulations concerning 501(c)(4) organizations.