Republican lawmakers have called for a broad investigation of the U.S. tax agency's revelation that its agents singled out conservative political groups for heightened scrutiny, demanding that President Barack Obama personally apologize for the action.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers said Sunday the targeting of conservative groups by the Internal Revenue Service during the 2012 political campaign "is something we cannot let stand. It needs to have a full investigation."
Republican Senator Susan Collins said she does not believe "this was a couple of rogue IRS employees. After all, groups with 'progressive' in their names were not targeted similarly." She called the practice "truly outrageous."
The IRS claims the groups were targeted as part of an "inappropriate" policy by a small number of bureaucrats, rather than for political reasons.
Lois Lerner, a top IRS official who heads the IRS division that oversees tax exempt groups, apologized Friday to conservative groups that were singled out for additional scrutiny. She said about 75 organizations that included the words "tea party" or "patriot" in applications for tax exempt status were put through unnecessary, additional reviews.
In some cases, groups were asked for lists of donors, which violates IRS policy in most cases. Lerner acknowledged it was wrong for the agency to target groups based on political affiliation.