Senate Finance to investigate IRS targeting groups, Ruiz releases statement

WASHINGTON - Sen. Max Baucus says the Senate Finance Committee will investigate the IRS targeting conservative political groups, joining a growing list of congressional panels looking into the matter.

The Finance Committee would be the first in the Democratic-controlled Senate to announce an investigation. The Montana Democrat is the panel's chairman.

In the House, the Ways and Means Committee and the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, also are investigating.

Local representative Raul Ruiz had this to say about the controversy: 

"These actions by the IRS are un-American and should not be tolerated. It is unconscionable that the IRS would single out groups based on their political opinions. Every American, regardless of political affiliation, has a Constitutional right to express their views and opinions. This situation must be rectified immediately and those responsible must be held fully accountable. Our democracy only thrives when our freedoms are protected, and I will always fight to defend the Constitutional rights of all Americans."

On Friday, the IRS apologized for scrutinizing the tax-exempt status of groups with conservative titles such as "Tea Party" or "Patriot" in their applications. An upcoming inspector general's report obtained by The Associated Press says IRS supervisors knew about the targeting as early as 2011.

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