House Oversight Leader's Plan to Resuscitate the IRS Scandal
Over the weekend, USA Today reported on revelations that an agency executive in D.C. admitted to reviewing Tea Party applications. The admission, however, is a month old, stemming from a House Oversight interview with her in late May. It's been at least a week since the executive, Holly Paz, was placed on leave. Clearly, Rep. Darrell Issa is committed to getting you to refocus your anger on the IRS scandal, no matter how long it takes.
It's fitting, in a way, that the scandal involving the agency, now nearly a month old, proceeds in very IRS-like fashion: slowly, slowly, slowly, and with a ponderous accumulation of documentation. For about a month, the House Oversight Committee, which Issa chairs, has been investigating the IRS revelations. And for the past several weeks, Issa has been selectively leaking the contents of interview transcripts to the press to keep generating attention for the cause.
Issa's focus on the IRS scandal is clear from a visit to his committee's website. It's a tactic that is frustrating Rep. Elijah Cummings of Georgia — the ranking Democrat on Oversight — and his peers. In response to a set of transcripts Issa slowly leaked two weeks ago, Cummings released his own, citing a "conservative Republican" employee in Cincinnati who took the blame for beginning the improper scrutiny. But Cummings clearly isn't interested in continuing the slow trench war of competing releases. He's called on Issa to release all of the existing interviews at once, a process known colloquially as "tearing off the Band-Aid."