Topics: Barack Obama

Op-Ed: President Obama is responsible for his administration

|
Opinion,Op-Eds,Barack Obama

From questions regarding the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, to the snooping of reporters' private communications, it's hard to keep track of the scandals surrounding the Obama administration these days.

The Internal Revenue Service has admitted that for years, the agency had been subjecting conservative and religious organizations to additional scrutiny as they applied for tax-exempt status.

They've demanded details on the contents of church prayers and political book club reports. This is absolutely chilling.

In the case of the IRS targeting scandals, we have deliberate bullying of private citizens merely attempting to exercise their constitutionally protected rights.

Further, we have learned that the IRS leaked the confidential applications for tax exemption of center-right groups to ProPublica, a prominent liberal news organization.

To top it off, there are horror stories of conservative donors who believe they have been subjected to audits or have suffered from their private information being released by the Obama administration.

In some cases, there is even a seemingly concerted collaboration of different government agencies to intimidate conservative donors at their places of business.

In the wake of all this, the Obama administration has chosen to dig in and declare legitimate questions and concerns -- in the words of one White House official -- as "irrelevant."

This speaks to a larger problem with this executive branch: Nothing is ever its responsibility. In each and every scandal plaguing this White House, there never seems to be a particular person responsible when everything goes horribly wrong.

In Fast and Furious or the secret probing of journalists' personal communication records? Not Attorney General Eric Holder's responsibility.

In the Benghazi terrorist attacks? Not Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's responsibility.

In the targeting scandal at the IRS? Not Lois Lerner's responsibility.

And in all of these? Not President Obama's responsibility.

Without an apparent leader in each of these instances, one must wonder, "who's in charge here?" Clearly, this is an administration as marked by its unaccountability as it is by these scandals.

Does all the blame really fall on the low-level workers of the federal government, as the administration continues to insist? Certainly, low-level workers don't make these kinds of decisions. The truth is that the behavior we saw from folks at the IRS is truly emblematic of the tone and tenor set at the top by President Obama.

After years upon years of his promising a post-partisan presidency where finally the great divides of Left and Right would crumble, we've seen quite the opposite.

In fact, we've witnessed a federal government attempting to silence its opponents and treat those with whom it disagrees not as political adversaries, but as enemies. To quote my House Ways and Means Committee colleague, Rep. Kevin Brady: "Is this still America?"

Despite all of these scandals that have broken the trust of the public, this is still America. That means Congress has the important job of providing the critical oversight necessary to bring those responsible to justice and ensure this never happens again.

House Republicans are committed to such oversight, and we will not rest until answers have been uncovered and the truth is provided for the American people.

Rep. Tom Price, M.D., is a Georgia Republican and vice chairman of the House Committee on the Budget. He is also a member of the Committee on Ways and Means and the Committee on Education and the Workforce.

View article comments Leave a comment