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Luetkemeyer Renews 2010 Inquiry Into IRS’ Stonewalling



WASHINGTON, D.C. _ Three years after launching an investigation with a constituent-driven inquiry questioning the tax exempt status of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and subsequent stonewalling by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-3) is renewing his inquiry. Luetkemeyer is also raising serious questions about IRS Exempt Organizations Division Director Lois Lerner’s political ties to HSUS in light of her recent apology for targeting conservative non-profit groups seeking tax-exempt status.
        
In a letter dated May 17, 2013 to U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Luetkemeyer called for an investigation into the handling of his request made to then-IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman in March, 2010 about constituent concerns regarding HSUS’s significant lobbying activities as a tax-exempt group.  Luetkemeyer also sent a letter to Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George requesting that he perform his own investigation into the matter.
 
In May, 2010, Luetkemeyer had shared those concerns in both a personal conversation and letter to Lerner who has been tied directly to the political arm of HSUS. Since launching his inquiry, Luetkemeyer has received repeated non-responsive letters from the IRS about his inquiries and given recent events and his responsibility to constituents mandated that a follow-up letter renewing his concerns be sent because it was both timely and necessary.
          
“While it is disconcerting to think that Ms. Lerner, who oversees tax-exempt organizations for the IRS, may have disregarded my request for an investigation due to her own political beliefs or those of her staff, in light of the recent revelations about the activities of Ms. Lerner’s office and in the absence of any other explanation from the IRS, many Americans will arrive at this very conclusion. With that in mind, I formally request that you investigate the IRS’ handling of my requests and report back to me in a timely fashion. Anything short of a timely and thorough investigation threatens to undermine the vital work done by rule-abiding non-profit organizations across this nation,” Luetkemeyer wrote in his letter to Lew and Holder.
 
“If the government entity charged with collecting taxes cannot do so in an unbiased, non-partisan manner, the people of this nation will lose faith in our democracy.  To restore the faith and trust of the American people in our government, I urge you to act quickly to resolve these issues and implement proactive policies to prevent such actions from occurring in the future,” Luetkemeyer said in the letter.

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