U.S. representative from Butler County draws applause for chastising IRS chief
Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Butler, drew rousing applause from spectators at a congressional hearing on Friday for blistering the IRS' ousted chief for more than five minutes.
“If you think it's uncomfortable sitting over there, you ought to be a private individual when the IRS is across from you questioning. It is uncomfortable for everybody,” Kelly told former Acting Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Steven Miller.
President Obama fired Miller on Wednesday in the fallout from a growing scandal over the IRS' admission that it targeted conservative organizations for extra scrutiny. Pennsylvania's largest Tea Party group, the Philadelphia-based Independence Hall Tea Party Association, renewed calls on Friday for Obama to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate.
“I got to tell you, you talked about you're a horribly run organization? If you're on the other side of the fence, you're not given that excuse,” Kelly said near the end of his allotted time to question Miller during the House Ways and Means Committee hearing.
“When the IRS comes in, you're not allowed to be shoddy. You're not allowed to be run horribly. You're not allowed to make mistakes. You're not allowed to do one damn thing that doesn't come in compliance. If you do, you're held responsible right then. I just think the American people have seen what's going on right now in their government. This is absolutely an overreach. And this is an outrage for all America,” Kelly said, eliciting cheers.
Reached by phone after the hearing, Kelly told the Tribune-Review: “This isn't a Republican issue for me. I represent 705,687 Americans. I think most of them are saying the same thing, that they're fed up with these people. The IRS carries a heavy hammer, and it's not right that they can pick and choose who to go after.”
Kelly, a car dealer, drew parallels between the IRS' treatment of conservative groups and the forced closure of hundreds of dealerships during the government's $85 billion bailout of General Motors and Chrysler.
Kelly cited a Treasury Department report that said, “Little or no documentation of the decision-making process to terminate or retain dealerships exists, making it impossible in many cases to determine if decisions deviated from supposedly objective criteria.”
Kelly added, “My colleagues and I have a duty to examine whether auto dealers across the country saw their businesses close as a result of similar political profiling.”
Tom Fontaine is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7847 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Panthers fall to Hawaii in game they were expected to win
- Tire comes off, hits oncoming car, kills 1 on Route 28
- Steelers’ Wheaton embraces expanding role
- 7 arrested in Latrobe-area drug dealing
- Fleury denied 300th win as Penguins lose to Islanders in shootout
- Iron ore price decline hurts U.S. Steel’s cost advantage over rivals
- Central Valley beats rival West Allegheny to win WPIAL Class AAA championship
- Crowds pack Downtown Pittsburgh to enjoy Light Up Night festivities
- On senior day, Pitt not giving up the fight
- Health Center could reopen after court ruling
- Woman admits to theft of 2 weapons in Latrobe shooting case