Congressman Gets Standing Ovation for Telling IRS It Strikes Fear Into Americans

By Penny Starr and Taylor Knopf | May 17, 2013 | 5:34pm EDT


(AP Photo)

( – The audience rose to its feet after Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Penn.) chided Acting IRS Commissioner Steve Miller about the Internal Revenue Service’s  treatment of taxpayers at a hearing of the House Ways and Means Committee on Friday.


The hearing focused on the agency’s targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, including those with names that included “tea party” or “patriot.”

“You get a letter from you folks, or a phone call, it’s with terror that you look at it, and now this kind of reconfirms that--you know what--they can do almost anything they want, to anybody they want, anytime they want,” Kelly said. “This is very chilling for the American people.”

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Kelly noted that Miller’s resignation would not bring closure to the growing scandal.

“This is a Pandora’s box that’s been opened and I don’t know that we can get the lid back on it,” Kelly said.

“I’m really concerned, I gotta’ tell you, where you’re sitting, you should be outraged -- but you’re not,” Kelly said. “The American people should be outraged, and they are.”

Calling it a “huge blow to the faith and trust the American people have in their government,” Kelly again questioned the power the IRS holds over the American people.

“I am more concerned today, than I was before and the fact that you all can do just about anything you want to anybody, you know you can put anybody out of business that you want, anytime you want,” Kelly said, adding that the IRS does not tolerate it when taxpayers do not comply with the law.

“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,” Kelly said. “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.

Committee chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) gaveled the session to order several times before the hearing continued.

More hearings are expected on the IRS revelations in the coming weeks.

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