Montana senior Senator Max Baucus announced today, May 13 that his committee is potentially gearing up for an investigation into alleged abuses at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The investigation springs from an admission last Friday, May 10 by the IRS that one of its departments had focused on verifying the tax-exempt status of groups with the words "tea party" or "patriot" in their titles. The IRS said the targeting of specific groups was "inappropriate," but many, including Baucus are arguing that the process was much worse than that.

“These actions by the IRS are an outrageous abuse of power and a breach of the public’s trust," said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus. "Targeting groups based on their political views is not only inappropriate but it is intolerable."

Baucus followed up by adding that a full investigation could be on the way.

“Americans expect the IRS to do its job without passion or prejudice," Baucus said. "We need to get to the bottom of what happened here. I want to see all the facts. We need to know who knew what, and exactly what mistakes were made. The American people have questions for the IRS and I intend to get answers. I want to review the Inspector General’s report first, but the IRS should be prepared for a full investigation into this matter by the Senate Finance Committee. The IRS will now be the ones put under additional scrutiny.”

Baucus' announcement is unique in that it is the first word from a Senate Committee that an investigation could ensue. The Democrat controlled Senate has been much more tight-lipped on the matter than the Republican controlled House, which has reacted much more forcefully to the IRS announcement with at least three committee's announcing investigations already.


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