Politico title The IRS scandal has a big problem for GOP – and for everyone else in Washington article The IRS is a scandal that will likely cost the country $100 billion in lost revenue for years to come, according to a bipartisan group of congressional Republicans and Democrats that is calling on the Trump administration to take swift action.
In an op-ed for Politico, the bipartisan Congressional Progressive Caucus called on the administration to halt the targeting of conservative groups, and to stop the “scandal that is destroying the credibility of the IRS and the American people.”
The new group, which is not a Republican or Democrat-aligned group, also said the IRS is now targeting Tea Party groups.
The group also wants the IRS to investigate the new scandal and find out why the agency is targeting groups that it has previously denied targeting.
“We are alarmed that the Trump Administration has escalated its efforts to shut down legitimate political advocacy,” the lawmakers wrote in the op-ing.
“We call on the Department of Justice to take immediate action to prosecute this criminal scheme, and for the Trump White House to end this targeting of American political groups and take the necessary steps to hold accountable those who have violated the law.”
Republicans have long opposed the targeting, and some have called it a political witch hunt that stifles free speech.
The groups that have been targeted have been conservative, and they have often engaged in more politically conservative speech than their Democratic counterparts.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released a report last month detailing what it called “irregularities and duplicity” within the IRS’s Office of Exempt Organizations (OEO).
The report found that the agency failed to provide evidence of targeting in at least 25 cases and only three of the cases were related to Tea Party and other political groups.
The OEO report said it was not clear how the targeting was being carried out, or why the targeting occurred.
The report also found that in six cases, the IRS was “misidentified” as targeting political groups in cases in which the groups were not eligible to be targeted.
Democrats have pushed back on the report, arguing that the OEO’s findings are “not reliable” because they do not specifically identify Tea Party or other political organizations as targets of the targeting.
But they say they are hopeful that the Office of the Inspector General will be able to determine whether the targeting targeting is legal.
The new House Republicans’ call for action comes after House Speaker Paul Ryan told a Senate panel earlier this month that the IRS “absolutely” targeted Tea Party-related groups.
In the letter, the lawmakers called on Ryan to issue an order that would require the IRS Director to “immediately issue a public statement clarifying the extent to which the targeting has occurred and the extent of the taxpayer cost to taxpayers, and what additional actions are needed to prevent future targeting.”
The IRS has yet to issue any statement clarifies its role in the targeting scandal.