The GOP’s obsession with hanging the IRS scandal on President Obama has turned into quite a pricey escapade.
The agency, which was found to have improperly scrutinized both conservative and progressive groups in the run up to the 2012 election, the latter a fact that Republicans conveniently ignore, has spent at least $14 million in salaries, benefits, travel and additional costs in responding to congressional inquiries led by House Oversight Committee Chair Darrell Issa (R-CA).
In response to a request by Reps. Sander Levin (D-MI) and Elijah Cummings (D-MD), top Democrats on House Ways and Means and Oversight committees, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said that 255 agency employees have spent some 97,542 hours responding to nine months of inquiries and 15 congressional hearings.
Koskinen noted in a letter sent Tuesday that of several ways of accounting for the costs of the investigation, he chose the “conservative approach” that did not include “ancillary” costs of support offices.
The scandal was back in the news recently after Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly pressed President Obama about it during a prime-time Super Bowl interview. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) also begrudgingly allowed that the agency targeted progressives in a January interview.
Read Koskinen’s letter below: