Transcript: Testimony by Acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller on the targeting of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status before the House Ways and Means Committee on May 17, 2013

Partial transcript of testimony by Steven Miller, Acting IRS Commissioner, on the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status before the House Ways and Means Committee on May 17, 2013:

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Thank you for the opportunity to be here today.

Unfortunately, given time considerations – we received the notice of the hearing within the last two days, the IRS was unable to prepare a written testimony.

I would note that I have a very brief statement before I take your questions.

First and foremost, as Acting Commissioner, I want to apologize on behalf of the Internal Revenue Service for the mistakes that we made and the poor service we provided. The affected organizations and the American public deserve better.

Partisanship or even the perception of partisanship has no place at the IRS. It cannot even appear to be a consideration in determining the tax-exemption of an organization.

I do not believe that partisanship motivated the people who engaged in the practices described in the Treasury Inspector General’s report.

I’ve reviewed the Treasury Inspector General’s report and I believe its conclusions are consistent with that.

I think that what happened here was that foolish mistakes were made by people trying to be more efficient in their workload selections.

The listing described in the report, while intolerable, was a mistake and not an act of partisanship.

The agency is moving forward. It has learned its lesson.

We’ve previously worked to correct the issue in the processing of the cases described in the report, and we’ve implemented changes to make sure that this type of thing never happens again.

Now that TIGTA has completed its fact-finding and issued its report, management will take appropriate action with respect to those responsible.

I’d be happy to answer your questions.

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