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Written by Grassley Press   
Friday, 21 June 2013 10:31

Grassley Seeks IRS Answers on Potential $70 Million in Union Bonuses

WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa is pressing for answers from the IRS about why the agency is apparently on track to give $70 million in discretionary bonuses to union members contrary to guidance from the White House Office of Management and Budget and despite providing the union written notice on March 25, 2013, that it intended to eliminate the bonuses.

“The IRS says it’s legally obligated to comply with its bargaining agreement,” Grassley said.  “But the bargaining agreement says award funding is granted ‘within applicable budget limitations’ and can be changed with 60 days’ notice.  If the IRS thinks it has to pay the bonuses, then why did it give notice in March that it was eliminating the awards?  The IRS needs explain that notice and make it available to the public.”

Grassley said he received insight from a person with knowledge of IRS budgetary procedures alleging the agency is failing to take all legal steps to stop the bonuses to union members.

This information follows a revelation several weeks ago that the IRS has paid out more than $92 million in bonuses during the Obama administration.  Lois Lerner is the director of the IRS division that targeted political groups for scrutiny.  She pled the Fifth to avoid answering questions from Congress and is currently on paid administrative leave.  But, since 2009, she received more than $42,000 in bonuses.  Joseph Grant, the former head of the agency’s tax exemption division, received $84,000.  Former Acting Commissioner Steven Miller received approximately $100,000 in bonuses since 2009.

An April 4, 2013, directive from the Office of Management and Budget instructs agencies to cease all discretionary bonuses during sequestration.  Grassley wrote to the acting IRS Commissioner this week to seek information about the status of the situation.  His letter is available here.

“The public deserves a full explanation, and I’m working to get it from the IRS,” Grassley said.

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