IRS scandal delays Levin hearing about need to pressure political nonprofits

Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke,IRS

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., scheduled a hearing to call for the IRS to crack down on nonprofit groups that engage in political activity, but the recent scandal of the IRS targeting conservatives has resulted in the postponement of that hearing.

“The Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has been for several months examining on a bipartisan basis whether the IRS has adequately enforced rules regarding the extent to which tax exempt nonprofit 501(c)4  groups engage in partisan politics,” Levin said in a joint statement with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., Monday afternoon. “We had tentatively planned a hearing on that issue for June. After Friday’s announcement that the IRS, to the extent it has been enforcing the law, may have done so in ways that singled out some groups for special scrutiny, we have determined that the subcommittee should investigate that additional issue as well. As a result, we have decided to delay our hearing in order to examine this issue carefully. We will continue to work on a bipartisan basis to ensure the integrity of our political process and of enforcement efforts.”

Levin previously denounced the IRS for granting nonprofit status to political groups. “These groups are exploiting our tax code by organizing as tax-exempt ‘social welfare’ groups and then spending tens of millions of undisclosed dollars on political campaigns,” Levin said on the Senate floor in September.

The IRS apologized on Friday for targeting conservative Tea Party groups for extra review, including inappropriate requests that they reveal the names of their donors.

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