Daily VideoMay 14, 2013
Politicians Demand IRS Investigation
After news broke that Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents targeted conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status during the 2012 presidential campaign, the White House worked quickly to distance itself from the allegations.
“If you’ve got the IRS operating in anything less than a neutral and nonpartisan way, then that is outrageous. It is contrary to our traditions. And people have to be held accountable, and it’s got to be fixed,” said President Barack Obama at a joint news conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron.
IRS agents applied extra scrutiny to groups applying for tax-exempt status that had words like “tea party” or “patriot” in their names.
Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are demanding answers.
“I just don’t buy that this was a couple of rogue IRS employees,” said Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine. “There’s evidence that higher-level supervisors were aware of this.”
The Senate’s Democratic majority leader, Harry Reid, also spoke out. “The alleged actions of IRS employees in the Cincinnati field office would be a terrible breach of the public’s trust. Whether investigating conservative groups or liberal groups, they should not be involved in this. Targeting any group based on its political stance is completely inappropriate.”
The chair of the Senate Finance Committee, Montana Democrat Max Baucus, has said his panel will look into the matter. Two Republican committee chairs in the House also have vowed to investigate.
Warm up questions
1. What is the IRS? What does it do?
2. What does it mean for an organization to be tax-exempt? What kind of organizations can get this status?
3. What is the “Tea Party”?
1. Why are politicians of both parties upset about this story? Why should we care about this?
2. Do you believe groups with political objectives, whatever political philosophy they follow, should be able to obtain tax-exempt status?
3. Conservative groups were targeted for using words like “patriot” in their name. Why does this word indicate a conservative group? What are some other words that reveal political affiliation?
Tooltip of related stories
Tooltip of more video block
Submit Your Student Voice
The year 2014 ranked as Earth’s hottest in 135 years of record-keeping and 2015 looks even hotter, prompting experts from both scientific and economic backgrounds to search for potential ways to address rising temperatures and ocean levels. Continue reading
A seventeen-year-old black teenager was shot 16 times by a white police officer in October of last year for allegedly puncturing a police car’s tire with a folding knife. Continue reading
Young children from families newly arrived in the United States often do not speak English at home, making it harder for them to learn. Continue reading
A popular new hip-hop show on Broadway, “Hamilton,” chronicles one of the nation’s founding fathers and his “rags to riches” story. Continue reading
DOWNLOAD VIDEO In the United States, where hundreds of thousands of people arrive each year…