WASHINGTON--Faced with a scandal, President Barack Obama on Wednesday said the acting IRS Commisioner, Steven Miller, was asked to resign and he would cooperate fully with Congressional probes of IRS targeting conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Obama made the announcement during a brief appearance in the East Room.
"So here's what we're going to do. First, we're going to hold the responsible parties accountable. Yesterday, I directed Secretary Lew to follow up on the IG audit to see how this happened and who is responsible, and to make sure that we understand all the facts. Today, Secretary Lew took the first step by requesting and accepting the resignation of the acting commissioner of the IRS because, given the controversy surrounding this audit, it's important to institute new leadership that can help restore confidence going forward," Obama said.
"Second, we're going to put in place new safeguards to make sure this kind of behavior cannot happen again. And I've directed Secretary Lew to ensure the IRS begins implementing the IG's recommendations right away.
Third, we will work with Congress as it performs its oversight role. And our administration has to make sure that we are working hand in hand with Congress to get this thing fixed. Congress, Democrats and Republicans, owe it to the American people to treat that authority with the responsibility it deserves and in a way that doesn't smack of politics or partisan agendas, because I think one thing that you've seen is, across the board, everybody believes what happened in -- as reported in the IG report is an outrage. The good news is it's fixable. And it's in everyone's best interest to work together to fix it.
"I'll do everything in my power to make sure nothing like this happens again by holding the responsible parties accountable, by putting in place new checks and new safeguards and, going forward, by making sure that the law is applied as it should be, in a fair and impartial way. And we're going to have to make sure that the laws are clear so that we can have confidence that they are enforced in a fair and impartial way and that there's not too much ambiguity surrounding these laws.
So that's what I expect. That's what the American people deserve. And that's what we're going to do.