A scathing rant aimed at Internal Revenue Service abuses brought a standing ovation at Friday’s House Ways and Means Committee hearing from observers who apparently thought Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., hit the nail on the head.
“If you think it’s uncomfortable sitting over there,” Kelly told former IRS Chief Steve Miller as he grilled him over revelations the IRS targeted “tea party” and “patriot” groups for heightened scrutiny on tax-exempt status applications, “you ought to be a private individual when the IRS is across from you asking you questions.
“I have to tell you,” Kelly said to Miller, who resigned on Wednesday at the request of the White House, “where you’re sitting, you should be outraged. But you’re not.
“The American people should be outraged, and they are,” he continued. “This reaffirms everything the American public believes. This is a huge blow to the faith and trust the American people have in their government. Is there any limit to the scope of where you folks can go?”
Kelly refused to accept the Obama administration’s defense, that the abuses were simply the actions of some rogue underlings in a Cincinnati office of the IRS.
“When the IRS comes in, you’re not allowed to be shoddy, you’re not allowed to be run horribly, you’re not allowed to make mistakes, you’re not allowed to do one d— thing that doesn’t come in compliance,” Kelly blasted. “If you do, you’re held responsible right then.”
When Kelly concluded with the words, “This is absolutely an overreach, and this is an outrage for all America,” the gallery erupted in applause.
In a follow-up message via Twitter, Kelly said he was “humbled” by the standing ovation.