House committee to grill ousted IRS chief

WASHINGTON (AP) - Lawmakers are ready to question the ousted head of the Internal Revenue Service as Congress this morning holds its first hearing on the extra scrutiny the IRS gave tea party and other conservative groups that applied for tax-exempt status.

The Republican-run House Ways and Means Committee will question Steven Miller, who was acting IRS director until he resigned Wednesday. Also testifying is J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration.

In a new report, George concludes that the IRS office in Cincinnati improperly singled out tea party and other conservative groups for tougher treatment when they sought tax-exempt status. The report says the practice began in March 2010 and lasted more than 18 months.

Republicans and Democrats alike have criticized the IRS, as has President Barack Obama.

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