When news broke in 2013 that the IRS had improperly targeted Tea Party and other conservative groups, Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley called the government agency’s actions “shameful”. However, just one year prior, Braley was one of the main proponents of a letter sent by congressional Democrats to the IRS, encouraging them to probe the political activities of non-profit groups.
Now, Braley has flip-flopped on IRS targeting again, showing his public statement was merely a smokescreen. Braley voted against a measure passed by the U.S. House to hold former IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt. Lerner repeatedly refused to answer questions to congressional hearings, invoking the Fifth Amendment.
Lerner was the chief of the IRS’ tax-exempt division. During the months preceding the 2012 election, Lerner’s division targeted conservative groups with additional scrutiny if they applied for tax exemptions.
Bruce Braley is the Democrats’ nominee-to-be for in Iowa’s U.S. Senate race. By refusing to hold Lerner in contempt, the liberal congressman shows he really does not care that the IRS targeted conservative groups.
In fact, combined with his letter, the evidence shows Bruce Braley encouraged the IRS’ behavior.
The contempt citation now goes to President Obama’s Justice Department, where it is sure to be rejected.
Iowa Second District Congressman Dave Loebsack also voted against the measure. Only six Democrats voted for holding Lerner in contempt.
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