BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The IRS may be targeting certain political groups. There’s growing outrage over reports that the agency singled out conservative organizations unfairly.
Kai Jackson has the tough criticism from Maryland leaders.
The Internal Revenue Service has a history of putting the lives and finances of people and organizations under the microscope, yet charges of political vendettas has the agency itself under fire.
President Barack Obama says he will not tolerate political bias at the IRS.
“I’ve got no patience with it. I will not tolerate it and we’ll make sure that we find out exactly what happened on this,” Obama said.
At a news conference with Britain’s Prime Minister, the president said he first learned of news reports that the IRS singled out conservative groups. Friday, the IRS apologized for scrutinizing groups with words like “Tea Party” or “Patriot” in their name as they applied for tax-exempt status.
Laurence Nordvig leads the Richmond, Va. Tea Party and says they were targeted.
“It got creepy, to be honest with you,” he said. “They were trying to really ferret out exactly who we are, who we know and the kind of questions that you would think that maybe a secret police might ask.”
Republican lawmakers are outraged.
“The Secretary of the Treasury and the president should apologize to the American people for this. This is a big deal, and we’re not going to let it rest,” said Rep. Dave Camp.
Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger is among a growing list of congressional leaders calling for an investigation to find out who knew what and when they knew it.
House Republicans are introducing a bill that would make it a crime for IRS workers to discriminate against groups for their political views.
The IRS claims the practice started with low-level workers but CBS News obtained information showing senior IRS officials knew about the profiling as early as 2011.
“To find out how this happened, why this happened and to hold them accountable. We can not tolerate this in our country,” Ruppersberger said.
Some Republicans say the president and the secretary of the treasury should apologize to the American people for the IRS scandal.