News Center

June 22nd, 2013

Why Is the IRS Giving Union Employee Bonuses?

More articles by »
Written by: Craig Robinson
Tags: , , ,

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.

About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country. Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states. Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site, Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing. Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.

blog comments powered by Disqus