Susan Collins slams Obama over IRS

WASHINGTON — Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, on Sunday called the Internal Revenue Service's singling out of conservative groups for extra scrutiny "absolutely chilling" and called on President Obama to condemn the effort.

"This is truly outrageous and it contributes to the profound distrust that the American people have in government," Collins, a moderate Republican, said on CNN's "State of the Union." "It is absolutely chilling that the IRS was singling out conservative groups for extra review, and I think it's very disappointing that the president hasn't personally condemned this and spoken out."

The IRS apologized Friday for flagging groups seeking tax-exempt status with "tea party" or "patriot" in their names for extra attention. The official who oversees tax-exempt groups at the agency said the effort was not motivated by partisanship. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Obama was "concerned" about the reported behavior "of a small number" of IRS employees.

"(Obama's) spokesman has said it should be investigated, but the president needs to make crystal clear that this is totally unacceptable in America," Collins said.

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., echoed Collins on "Fox News Sunday." The House Intelligence Committee chairman called for an external investigation into the matter, with congressional oversight.

"This should send a chill up your spine. This is something we cannot let stand. It needs to have a full investigation," Rogers said.

An inspector general's report set to be released this week says IRS officials knew about the targeting of conservative groups as early as 2011, months before the agency's commissioner told Congress it wasn't taking place.

"I just don't buy that this was a couple of rogue IRS employees," Collins said. "After all, groups with 'progressive' in their names were not targeted similarly. There is the evidence that higher level supervisors were aware of this. And the IRS was not forthcoming in telling Congress about the problem."

Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., adopted a different tone. He said on "Fox News Sunday" the matter is "definitely worth looking into," but made clear that he is "not going to leap to conclusions based on initial reports." Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said on NBC News's "Meet The Press" that she is "concerned" about the matter and that lawmakers "have to take a good look at it."

AP file photo

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine

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Comments

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Keep it going Sue

Instead of Job, Jobs, Jobs, it is now IRS, IRS, IRS -- Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi.

GOP and Congress all time low at 78% and sinking, 37 attacks on Affordable Healthcare Act and still wasting taxpayers money and time.

Why is Sue not asking about the $400 Million cuts in 2 years by the GOP, to National security to secure the Embassies and much more.

Noise like Bachmann saying God created 911 and Benghazi and we need to have prayer, seems that is what the Islamist fundamentalist did too and they got their wish, so according to Bachmann's thinking she is in concert with the Jihad.

GOP/Teabaggers will be the same as the Catholic Church, obsolete and irrelevant, very soon.

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

A work in progress

Considering that Congress has not done its job in the last 6 years, it is more than ironic that they are now criticizing an agency of the government that is actually doing theirs. The key word here is Abramoff who used the same tax free dodge to illegally avoid paying his taxes and thereby created a suspicion that others would follow in his footsteps.. The question is not were they singled out for scrutiny but were they singled out for unfair denial. I'm not hearing that they were.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Collins like Rubio, joined at the hip, morons...

Ha...........Rubio, has to be drinking more than Poland Springs water....Didn't he know that Bush appointed the GOP IRS Commissioner, their own fellow, who Resigned last Year and the Republican Congress hasn't gotten around to confirming someone to fill that said Position......and these buffoons wants an apology and the imbecile Collins blames the President.......................Do Your Jobs Bagggggers!!!

Somebody needs to educate the wantabe Rubio and Collins! You can't Fire someone you Jokers won't Hire or confirm!!!

Incompetent Republican Congress....

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Tom Delay and more like him....

The IRS helps put those that are corrupt into the light of avoiding taxes by laundering money and lying about their status. The problem with Susan and the rest is sour grapes, they lost the election and are reaching for straws.

With Freedomworks and Roves GPS are nothing but a laundry for big money such as Bachmann slipping money to a Iowa Congressman from her PAC.

So they are all up in arms about having a check and balance when it comes to the party of crooks and money launderers.

Just like Delay still not in jail, after how many years and of course the repubs would want to see him walk too.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

If there's a history...............

Personally I wouldn't care one way or another, if the IRS wants to investigate me, so be it. I have nothing to hide, so what would I be worried about. How many thousands of individuals are investigated rightfully or wrongly every year?
Organized crime is investigated routinely for a reason, and it's not because someone happened to catch an episode of "Notorious" on TV. They are investigated because they show a history of somewhat deviant behavior. It's their behavior that attracts attention.
Now I'm not comparing the Republican Party to "Organized Crime" (yet), but their behavior raises some red flags. The tea party has all but come out and admitted to stopping at nothing to stop the President. They've proven that they will use backhanded policies to advance their agenda, such as knowingly use their position in government to restrict certain groups from voting. Thus altering the outcome of elections in their favor. They have been caught red handed admitting to this on tape. It's no secret they are nearly "radical" in their quest for dominance. So why should they be surprised at the attention given to them.
Seems to me that if someone is "Fishing" for illegal behavior, dropping a line in the deep end of the tea party pool, seems a logical place to troll for the big one.

Doreen Sheive's picture

Collins

I am tired of Collins spending so much time criticizing the President when she should be spending time getting good legislation passed. Yes, she occasionally breaks with her party and cast a responsible vote. However, she has done absolutely nothing to bring the politicians together. Does that mean that she has no influence with her fellow Republicans or, does it mean, she doesn't even try to convince them to vote responsibly? I would like it if she spent less time in front of the camera criticizing and more time trying to pass responsible legislation.

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

The IRS

Since it is the job of the IRS to hunt down tax cheats, I would think a good place to look for them would be with groups who openly claim to hate taxes and want to shut down the government. I only wish they were as ardent with the guys who hide their money in offshore accounts.

David  Cote's picture

Fact is, she's doing her job...

And she's doing it quite well.

ANTHONY NAZAR's picture

It's approaching reelection time

...and Susan "Bipartisan" Collins has to pander to the eyeball spinners to avoid a challanger in the primaries.

Whatever happened to two turns and then it's someone else's turn?

DANNY FITZSIMMONS's picture

distract distract distract

republican, republican, republican. forget that the sequester problems were in fact the republicans doing and that Collins was a spokesperson for the deal then was dismayed that she was delayed at the airport because of the delays brought about decisions.

JAMES LAWRENCE's picture

good job susan collins.

good job susan collins. Baldachi would have been letting the IRS know about these groups

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