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IRS Demanded Content of Prayers from Pro-Life Group

08-01-2015
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Senate Republicans are still looking for answers in the IRS targeting scandal.

At a hearing Wednesday, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, asked IRS Commissioner John Koskinen why the tax agency would demand that an Iowa prolife group tell them about the content of their prayers.

Koskinen admitted the request was "totally inappropriate," saying he has apologized for the IRS.

The agency also made every member of that Iowa group promise not to picket Planned Parenthood.

"We should not have a federal government agency that becomes an intimidator, going after citizens, going after citizen groups, violating their First Amendment rights," Cruz said.

Overall, the IRS targeted dozens of conservative and Tea Party groups, blocking their tax-exempt status before the 2010 and 2012 elections.

Jay Sekulow, chief counsel with the American Center for Law and Justice, told the committee the IRS still hasn't acted in some cases.

"I represent 38 groups that were targeted by the IRS. That targeting, by the way, has not resulted in an end of all the cases. I've got two clients, one of which has been waiting six years for a determination from the Internal Revenue Service," Sekulow said.

Meanwhile, Cruz is calling for the IRS to be abolished, saying it has become "the embodiment of what's wrong with government and what's wrong with Washington."

Cruz and Sekulow weren't the only ones who scolded the IRS Wednesday. A U.S. District Court judge in Washington threatened to hold IRS officials in contempt for not following an order to produce documents in the scandal.

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