Why Is the IRS Giving Union Employee Bonuses? PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Grassley Press   
Monday, 24 June 2013 08:10

by U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley


The IRS is in hot water again.

I learned recently that the IRS has failed to take steps to stop bonuses to union members in spite of a clear directive from the White House Office of Management and Budget.  The directive instructs the IRS to stop all discretionary bonuses during the ongoing federal budget sequestration.

In fact, the IRS routinely claims to be short on resources.  Even so – and now with sequestration, as well – the IRS appears to have $70 million to spend on bonus payments to IRS employee union members.

The agency even seems to be making an extra effort to give the bonuses, despite opportunities to renegotiate with the union and an instruction to cease discretionary bonuses during sequestration.

There’s no question that the IRS needs to answer to the taxpayers.  I sent a letter on Tuesday asking the Acting IRS Commissioner to explain why the agency seems to be on track to award some $70 million in discretionary bonuses to union members.

We’ve learned about the IRS arguably spitting on the rights of law-abiding citizens by targeting certain groups seeking tax-exempt status solely for their perceived political affiliation.  Now, the IRS may be thumbing its nose at taxpayers by giving tens of millions of dollars in bonuses when every part of the federal government needs to be tightening its belt.

This adds insult to injury in light of the 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.

Again, the public deserves a full explanation, and I’m working to get it from the IRS.
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