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Republicans say IRS targeting is chilling

Sunday - 5/12/2013, 1:31pm  ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- One congressional Republican says it "should send a chill up your spine."

Congressman Mike Rogers of Michigan was talking on Fox News about the disclosure that employees at the Internal Revenue Service had targeted conservative political groups for tougher scrutiny of their tax-exempt status.

Rogers says it's "as dangerous a problem the government can have." He says he doesn't know "where it stops or who is involved."

The IRS has blamed low-level employees, and apologized for what it called the "inappropriate" targeting of conservative groups during the 2012 election. But Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine says she "doesn't buy that." She says if it had just been a few employees, then higher-level supervisors "would have rushed to make this public, fired the employees involved, apologized to the American people and informed Congress." She says none of that happened "in a timely way."

And Collins tells CNN that she's disappointed that President Barack Obama "hasn't personally condemned this."

According to a draft of a watchdog's report that is to be released in the coming days, senior IRS officials knew that agents were targeting tea party groups as early as 2011.


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