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IRS chief: Agency lacked sensitivity in screenings


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The House Ways and Means Committee, chaired by GOP Rep. Dave Camp of Michigan, is holding a hearing on the issue Friday and Miller is scheduled to testify.

The Senate Finance Committee announced Monday that it will join a growing list of congressional committees investigating the matter.

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The IRS apologized Friday for what it acknowledged was "inappropriate" targeting of conservative political groups during the 2012 election to see whether they were violating their tax-exempt status. In some cases, the IRS acknowledged, agents inappropriately asked for lists of donors.

The agency blamed low-level employees in a Cincinnati office, saying no high-level officials were aware.

Camp and other members of the Ways and Means Committee sent at least four inquiries to the IRS, starting in June 2011. Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, sent three inquiries. And Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House oversight committee, sent at least one.

"This was a targeting of the president’s political enemies, effectively, and lies about it during the election year so that it wasn’t discovered until afterwards," Issa said Tuesday on "CBS This Morning." The fact is this is the kind of investigation that has to be open and transparent to the American people."

None of the agency’s responses to Congress acknowledged that conservative groups had ever been targeted, including a response to Hatch dated Sept. 11, 2012 — four months after Miller had been briefed.

The IRS issued a statement Monday saying that Miller had been briefed on May 3, 2012 "that some specific applications were improperly identified by name and sent to the (exempt organizations) centralized processing unit for further review." That was the unit in Cincinnati that handled the tea party applications.

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Associated Press writers Jim Abrams and Henry C. Jackson contributed to this report.


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