“In the wake of Ms. Lerner’s refusal to testify and answer questions, this report offers detailed evidence about steps she took to crack down on organizations that exercised their Constitutional rights to free political speech,” said Chairman Issa. “She involved herself in efforts to apply unprecedented scrutiny to new applicants, existing organizations, and to write new rules after President Obama and other prominent Democrats expressed outrage at the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. Finally, the report presents evidence that Ms. Lerner misled Congress about targeting and her own conduct.”
1. In October 2010, Lerner told a Duke University group: “The Supreme Court dealt a huge blow, overturning a 100-year-old precedent that basically corporations couldn’t give directly to political campaigns. And everyone is up in arms because they don’t like it. The Federal Election Commission can’t do anything about it. …
“The latest delay underscores the President’s misguided fixation on political gains over the disastrous impact ObamaCare is having on Americans. This move is a cynical ploy that delays thousands of insurance policy cancellations until after the elections, in the hopes that Americans won’t notice the spiking premiums and shrinking options they face under the President’s health care law. Nothing, however, can distract from the fact that the President blatantly broke his promise that ‘if you like your plan you can keep your plan.’”
The Committee’s investigation began in February 2012, after concerns about disparate treatment and inappropriate scrutiny of applicants for tax exempt status by the IRS were brought to the Committee’s attention.
“Transparency and accountability will go a long way to addressing this Administration’s runaway expansion of the regulatory state,” Issa said. “These reforms bring job-killing federal mandates out of the dark by giving the public ample time to see and prepare for their real costs and economic impact. The reforms of Stop Government Abuse Week are a step in the right direction toward creating an open rulemaking process and undoing the economic damage of the federal government’s excessive bureaucratic regulation. The American people deserve no less.”
“Ms. Lerner’s testimony remains critical to the Committee’s investigation,” wrote Chairman Issa. “Documents and testimony obtained by the Committee show that she played a significant role in scrutinizing applications for tax exempt status from conservative organizations. Documents also show that Ms. Lerner participated in “off plan” work to develop rules that would allow the IRS to stifle constitutionally protected political speech by non-profit groups. Ms. Lerner’s testimony will allow the Committee to better understand how and why the IRS targeted certain organizations.”
WASHINGTON – Today, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, released a joint report on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s highly-invasive surveillance program that monitored employees who contacted Congress and the media with concerns about FDA’s…
“As citizen watchdogs, Americans have the right to keep an eye on their government and are entitled to a federal government that is both transparent and accountable,” Chairman Issa said in a statement. “Disclosure should be timely, accurate, and routine. H.R. 1211 enacts commonsense reforms that will reduce the backlog of FOIA requests from federal agencies by strengthening the Office of Government Information Services and creating an online request system. The reforms in the FOIA bill will strengthen agency compliance and make it easier for the public to access information from the federal government.”
“Too often, our Committee sees and reviews billion dollar write-offs of IT programs, in which you cannot find out who was in charge, you cannot find out why they went on so long, and the hardest thing to find out is why they don’t work at the end of a billion dollars,” Issa said. “Good software saves billions of dollars and countless lives and countless hours if it works. Bad or poorly done software can frustrate the American public and deprive them of very product or service they expected to receive.”
“The federal government is currently spending in excess of $80 billion dollars for information technology investments, and often we get little back in terms of results. IT acquisition program failure rates and cost overruns are between 72 percent and 80 percent. Some estimate as much as $20 billion is wasted annually in this area. We need to enhance the best value to the taxpayer by adapting the cumbersome federal acquisition process to major trends in the IT industry.