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House panel holds ex-IRS officer in contempt


House panel holds ex-IRS officer in contempt

By Patrick Temple-West WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. House of Representatives panel voted 21-12 along party lines on Thursday to hold a former Internal Revenue Service officer in contempt of Congress over her role in a 2013 controversy involving IRS targeting of conservative political groups. Lois Lerner, former head of the IRS tax-exempt division, twice exercised her constitutional right not to testify about the affair before the Republican-controlled House Oversight and Government Reform Committee at public hearings on Capitol Hill. After almost a year of politically charged investigations, Republican committee members voted to approve a contempt resolution against Lerner, sending it to the full House for further consideration. The resolution read: "The Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee recommends that the House find Ms. Lerner in contempt for her failure to comply with the subpoena issued to her." As part of its required review of applications for tax-exempt status from politically active groups, the IRS applied extra scrutiny in recent years to groups with the words 'Tea Party' in their names, as well as some progressive groups.


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