“However, this is just the tip of the iceberg,” Camp said. “We have received less than 3 percent of the documents responsive to the investigation. So, Congress will continue to investigate how the targeting began, why it was allowed to continue for so long and what the IRS is doing to resolve this. Americans deserve to know the full truth.”
The IRS said in a statement that 70 agency lawyers are working full-time to review documents for congressional inquiries.
A report by the IRS inspector general said the agency gave extra scrutiny to 298 groups when they applied for tax exempt status from the spring of 2010 to the spring of 2012.
A total of 104 applications included the labels “conservative,” ”tea party,” ”patriot” or “9-12” in their names, according to the Ways and Means report, which is consistent with the inspector general’s report. Seven included the words “progressive” or “progress.”
While processing the applications, IRS agents asked the progressive groups an average of 4.7 questions and eventually approved all seven applications, according to the analysis by Ways and Means Republicans. Some progressive groups, however, complained about lengthy delays.
The conservative groups were asked an average of 14.9 questions and, as of May 31, only 48 applications had been approved. The other 56 applications were either pending or withdrawn. None was denied.
Rep. Sander Levin of Michigan, the top Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee, said the analysis omits other liberal or progressive groups that don’t have the word “progressive” in their names.
“This is a recurring problem in this investigation — the release of incomplete information,” Levin said. “Indeed, that is exactly what led to fundamental flaws in the (inspector general’s) report.”