GOP slams IRS pick to run Obamacare enforcement office

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Politics Digest,Obamacare,Republican Party,IRS

House and Senate Republican leaders are gagging on the administration's pick to run the IRS Obamacare enforcement office because she headed the unit that improperly probed into Tea Party groups, a scandal that has cut short the careers of two top officials--so far.

"Stunning, just stunning," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

"These folks are just tone deaf," added Rep. Tom Price, who is likely to raise the issue in Friday's House Ways and Means Committee hearing called to probe the scandal. "Their hubris knows no bounds," he told Secrets. "The arrogance and the intimidation factor out of this administration is unconscionable," he added.

"Now more than ever, we need to prevent the IRS from having any role in Americans' health care," said Texas GOP Sen. John Cornyn.

ABC reported: The Internal Revenue Service official in charge of the tax-exempt organizations at the time when the unit targeted tea party groups now runs the IRS office responsible for the health care legislation.

Sarah Hall Ingram served as commissioner of the office responsible for tax-exempt organizations between 2009 and 2012. But Ingram has since left that part of the IRS and is now the director of the IRS' Affordable Care Act office.

Price has introduced legislation to remove the IRS as the Obamacare tax enforcer. His bill is titled "Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act of 2013."

He said that the public has lost faith in the IRS and has reason to worry about their personal health information being used against them.

"When it comes to an individual's personal health care decisions, no American should be required to answer to the IRS - an agency that just forfeited its claim to a reputation of impartiality. It has always been an untenable and unacceptable scenario, and we ought to take this common sense step to take the IRS out of health care," Price said when he introduced the bill.

At Friday's Ways and Means Committee hearing--the first in a series--officials are expected to be asked about how they plan to enforce Obamacare when it kicks in January 1.