The House Oversight Committee will hold its latest hearing next week into how the IRS handled the applications of groups seeking tax exempt status. The hearings have morphed from a scandal over the targeting of Tea Party groups into something broader.
It all started when a report from IRS Inspector General J. Russell George said groups with Tea Party in their name were targeted for extra scrutiny for possible political activity. When asked if progressive groups were also targeted, he said no.
The panel now headed by Rep. Darrell Issa, a California Republican, has long been a place to watch partisan tempers fly.
But the assertion by the panel's top Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, that the investigation into the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups should be closed appears to have only escalated the bad feelings that already existed.
A self-described conservative Republican who oversees IRS screeners dealing with non-profit groups has told lawmakers that he doesn't think the White House played a role in stonewalling "Tea Party" and "patriot" groups, according to the ranking Democrat on the committee investigating the matter.
Anyone searching for the place where the friction between the Obama White House and congressional Republicans is throwing off the most angry sparks need look no further than the clashes between the administration and Rep. Darrell Issa.