IRS Can't Be Trusted
McConnell: IRS Can't Be Trusted to Implement Obamacare
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell tells Newsmax TV that the current scandal facing the Internal Revenue Service proves that the agency cannot be trusted to implement Obamacare.
"I don’t think so," the Kentucky Republican says in an exclusive interview. "I don’t think we ought to have Obamacare. We ought to pull it out root and branch, if we possibly can.
"And, certainly, the IRS part of administering Obamacare, particularly in the wake of this IRS scandal with regard to suppressing the views of Americans who were critical of the IRS, raises further suspicions about their involvement in the administration of Obamacare."
Obamacare has 47 separate provisions that involve the IRS. It is the second-largest agency, after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, charged with implementing the Affordable Care Act.
The IRS has to implement Obamacare’s required purchase of health coverage, checking whether millions of Americans are in compliance.
Speaking to the current scandal embroiling the IRS, McConnell tells Newsmax that Congress would investigate the targeting of conservative groups "for as long as it takes to get the truth."
"We'll find out the answers to all these questions. It may take a while, but the finger-pointing stage is going on now. Everybody's pointing the finger at someone else. But the truth always comes out — and it will come out here as well," McConnell says.
Earlier this week, the senator demanded the resignation of IRS Acting Director Steven Miller, who admitted that he had known about the singling out of conservative groups with such words as "tea party" and "patriot" in their names since last May.
Miller resigned late on Wednesday.
McConnell tells Newsmax that the current IRS controversy is yet another effort by the Obama White House to suppress those who oppose its policies. He cites moves by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius regarding Obamacare.
"During the debate, she sent out a directive to the health insurance companies telling them they couldn’t send a letter to their policyholders giving them their impression of the impact of Obamacare on premiums," he says. "Now, the same secretary is shaking down those companies for contributions to a fund that will apparently pay for ads to be beamed at the American people trying to convince them that they should like Obamacare."
The Washington Post reported last week that Sebelius began soliciting insurance companies and other organizations in March seeking financial donations to help implement Obamacare.
"This is just the most recent example, but now they've messed with an agency that everybody understands," McConnell adds. "Everybody knows about the IRS. It couldn't be an agency more powerful than the IRS, an agency that has the power to destroy your life."
He also noted that the agency leaked confidential documents from conservative groups whose tax-exempt status had not yet been approved to the liberal news investigative website ProPublica after last year’s election.
Releasing such data violates IRS rules.
"We know they were right in the middle of the campaign — and how many of them, how high up it goes, we'll find out,” McConnell says. “This is completely unacceptable in our free society — and now we know they probably targeted Billy Graham's organization."
Franklin Graham, son of the organization's founder, said on Tuesday that the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and its offshoot, Samaritan's Purse, were targeted by IRS agents for extra scrutiny.
The organization, based in North Carolina, sponsored ads statewide supporting a traditional marriage amendment during last year’s presidential election.
"There are a number of other conservative donors coming forward now saying that they had inexplicable audits suddenly on their tax returns," the senator tells Newsmax. "This could be widespread — and we're going to find out exactly what happened with this investigation. It'll go on for as long as it takes to get the truth."
McConnell says federal investigators are determining whether there was a link between the Obama White House and Shawn Reilly, the executive director of Progress Kentucky, the super PAC accused of bugging his Louisville campaign headquarters in February.
According to news reports, Reilly visited the White House in December, days before he criticized McConnell on Twitter.
"What we do know is the office was bugged," McConnell tells Newsmax. "We know there's an FBI investigation underway.
"We don’t know if charges will be brought, but I guess we’ll find out soon. And we do know that one of the perpetrators of this criminal act was in a meeting in the White House back in December.
"The effort will be made by all of us to get to the truth and we'll find out what actually happened," he says.
Noting that politicizing the IRS was one of the articles of impeachment against President Richard Nixon during Watergate, McConnell says it is too soon to say whether President Barack Obama should face similar consequences.
"We need to find out what the facts are first," he reiterates to Newsmax. "Let’s first find out exactly who did that."