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, the IRS confirmed to ABC News today.
Her successor, Joseph Grant, is taking the fall for misdeeds at the scandal-plagued unit between 2010 and 2012. During at least part of that time, Grant served as deputy commissioner of the tax-exempt unit.
Grant announced today that he would retire June 3, despite being appointed as commissioner of the tax-exempt office May 8, a week ago.
As the House voted to fully repeal the Affordable Care Act Thursday evening, House Speaker John Boehner expressed “serious concerns” that the IRS is empowered as the law’s chief enforcer.
“Fully repealing ObamaCare will help us build a stronger, healthier economy, and will clear the way for patient-centered reforms that lower health care costs and protect jobs,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said.
“Obamacare empowers the agency that just violated the public’s trust by secretly targeting conservative groups,” Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind., added. “Even by Washington’s standards, that’s unacceptable.”
Sen. John Cornyn even introduced a bill, the “Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act of 2013,” which would prohibit the Secretary of the Treasury, or any delegate, including the IRS, from enforcing the Affordable Care Act.
Why Obama must have known exactly what Ingram was doing
Washington Examiner: UPDATED: IRS tax exemption/Obamacare exec got $103,390 in bonuses; Did Obama OK them?
Sarah Hall Ingram, the IRS executive in charge of the tax exempt division in 2010 when it began targeting conservative Tea Party, evangelical and pro-Israel groups for harassment, got more than $100,000 in bonuses between 2009 and 2012.
More recently, Ingram was promoted to serve as director of the tax agency’s Obamacare program office, a position that put her in charge of the vast expansion of the IRS’ regulatory power and staffing in connection with federal health care, ABC reported earlier today.
Ingram received a $7,000 bonus in 2009, according to data obtained by The Washington Examiner from the IRS, then a $34,440 bonus in 2010, $35,400 in 2011 and $26,550 last year, for a total of $103,390. Her annual salary went from $172,500 to $177,000 during the same period.
The 2010, 2011 and 2012 bonuses were awarded during the period when IRS harassment of the conservative groups was most intense. The newspaper obtained the data via a Freedom of Information Act request.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., described the Ingram awards as “stunning, just stunning.”
Bonuses as large as those awarded to Ingram typically require presidential approval, according to federal personnel regulations.
High-ranking career federal civil servants like Ingram are eligible for recognition through citations known as Distinguished and Merit Service awards that can carry with them cash bonuses of anywhere from five to 35 percent of their base salary.
The largest of such awards, however, require presidential approval, according to the Office of Personnel Management, which oversees the federal civil service workforce.
“If the recommended award is over $25,000, the Director of OPM reviews the nomination and forwards his/her recommendation to the President for approval,” according to the OPM guidance.
A key point on OPM’s “checklist” for federal bosses considering an employee for such a bonus is making sure that “the proposed award recipient has not been involved in any action or activity that could cause the President embarrassment …”
IRS Exempt Organizations Division director Lois G. Lerner “apolitical”? Not so much!
- Daily Caller: Lerner’s admission of IRS’s inappropriate behavior was pre-planned public disclosure
WASHINGTON – Last week, Lois Lerner, head of the tax exempt division of the Internal Revenue Service dropped a bombshell: The IRS had been applying extra scrutiny to conservative groups claiming tax exempt status.
The revelation came seemingly out of the blue, in response to a question during a panel at an American Bar Association conference, leaving the audience baffled, according to reports.
As it turns out, it was not a spontaneous revelation. The question, said outgoing IRS Commissioner Steven Miller in testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee Friday, was planted, as part of a prepared strategy for the IRS to release this information to the public…
- Daily Caller: Embattled IRS official Lois Lerner’s husband’s law firm has strong Obama connections
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) official who apologized for targeting conservative nonprofit groups for extra scrutiny is married to an attorney whose firm hosted a voter registration organizing event for the Obama presidential campaign, praised President Obama’s policy work, and had one of its partners appointed by Obama to a key ambassadorship.
IRS Exempt Organizations Division director Lois G. Lerner, who has been described as “apolitical” in mainstream press coverage of the IRS scandal, is married to tax attorney Michael R. Miles, a partner at the law firm Sutherland Asbill & Brennan. The firm is based in Atlanta but has a number of offices including in Washington, D.C., where Miles works.
The 400-attorney firm hosted an organizing meeting at its Atlanta office for people interested in helping with voter registration for the Obama re-election campaign…
- Daily Caller: IRS official Lerner speedily approved exemption for Obama brother’s ‘charity’
Lois Lerner, the senior IRS official at the center of the decision to target tea party groups for burdensome tax scrutiny, signed paperwork granting tax-exempt status to the Barack H. Obama Foundation, a shady charity headed by the president’s half-brother that operated illegally for years.
According to the organization’s filings, Lerner approved the foundation’s tax status within a month of filing, an unprecedented timeline that stands in stark contrast to conservative organizations that have been waiting for more than three years, in some cases, for approval.
Lerner also appears to have broken with the norms of tax-exemption approval by granting retroactive tax-exempt status to Malik Obama’s organization…
- Weekly Standard – Report: IRS Deliberately Chose Not to Fess Up to Scandal Before Election
“[I]f this fact came out in September 2012, in the middle of a presidential election? The terrain would have looked very different.”
The IRS wasn’t the only government agency targeting conservative groups, donors, and even small businesses:
- Breitbart: Congressmen: Were Conservative Car Dealers Targeted for GM Closures?
- Report: Obama administration used IRS, other government agencies to persecute True The Vote