Sen. Roy Blunt says that in retrospect he does not believe President Barack Obama was responsible for the Internal Revenue Service targeting conservative groups and any allegations Obama orchestrated that attack were unwarranted, the New York Times reported.
“Presidents have always been very careful about maintaining the appearance of keeping hands off the IRS,” Blunt said. “I don’t have any reason to believe there wasn’t targeting of conservatives, but it might well have been a lot more than that as well.”
The IRS denied the targeting of tea party groups was mandated by the White House, but many in the GOP have been unable to believe that Obama was not aware of the practice.
As more information is reported about the nature of what the IRS did, it is becoming clear that many liberal groups were also denied tax-exempt status or made to ask a series of drawn-out ancillary questions during the application process.
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Now the GOP is more interested in denying allegations that Obama had anything to do with the IRS actions.
In May, the IRS admitted it targeted liberal groups as well as conservative. Progressive group Progress Texas and Clean Elections Texas, which aims to start a public fund for campaigns, were both given the same line of questioning from the IRS office as Tea Party groups.
While none of the Republican groups had their applications rejected by the IRS, Democratic group Emerge America, which trains and encourages women to run for office, was actually denied tax-exempt status.
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“We didn’t even get the opportunity to answer questions,” said Karen Middleton, president of Emerge America. “We would have welcomed the opportunity to respond to a questionnaire.” the national organization was shocked that the agency revoked approvals on Oct. 21, 2011.