Douglas Shulman, who served as IRS commissioner when the agency targeted conservative groups for inappropriate questioning, faulted Congress for not giving the agency more funding over the past two years.
“The last couple years the Congress has not been funding the IRS sufficiently,” Shulman told Rep. Scott Desjarlais, R-Tenn., during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the IRS' “targeting [of] Americans for their political beliefs.” Shulman’s comment came in response to Desjarlais asking if he thought the IRS was competent and reliable enough to handle the personal information the agency will acquire while implementing Obamacare.
“I feel very confident in the men and women of the [IRS] to do the task [Congress] gave them,” Shulman said, though he acknowledged that there was a “serious breakdown” in the agency.
Shulman, a Bush appointee, also confirmed that he learned of the targeting of conservatives in the spring of 2012, but he denied that he kept the story quiet to help President Obama’s re-election campaign.
“I was told it had been stopped or was in the process of being stopped,” he said. ”The responsible deputy of the Internal Revenue Service” told him that the targeting was over, he explained.
“I feel very comfortable with my actions,” Shulman also said.
Asked by Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., if he took any “corrective, remedial action” after he was informed about the targeting, Shulman replied that he “felt very comfortable that the inspector general was going to run down the facts.”
“Let the record reflect that that is a ‘no,’” Gowdy said.