LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – A report coming out this week shows Internal Revenue Service agents targeted the tea party and other conservative groups when they applied for tax exempt status.
The revelations have Washington bracing for a political firestorm.
“I think it's absolutely frightening that they can use a government agency to target political opponents what others government agencies can they use. Can they use the CIA, the FBI," Sarah Durand, president of the Louisville Tea Party said.
Durand says it shows how far politicians are willing to go to scare other groups.
“A lot of this was intimidation. A lot of this was these people seeing this and being afraid about even becoming a 501c4 when we have to provide all this information. Why do they need all this information," Durand said.
President Obama finally spoke out today giving his thoughts on the brewing controversy.
"If you have the IRS doing anything less than a neutral and non partisan way, then that is outrageous," he said.
According to a soon to be released Inspector General's Report, as early 2010, IRS officials have selected organizations whose names or mission statements suggest an association with conservative or tea party causes, singling them out for additional scrutiny.
The IRS said the practice was not politically motivated, but was rather an effort to deal with an influx of new applications for tax-exempt status that needed additional attention in order to comply with the law.
There are opinions across Kentuckiana as to whether the intentions are true.
“I think it is a tempest in a tea party is what it is and it's just over blown. I don't think it's a debacle," Tom Delancy said.
Others feel it’s just politics as usual.
“I think the party has really changed in the last couple of years. There's more about the fighting back and forth than the American people." What they really need is to sit down and work together," tea party supporter William Bishop said.
Congressional hearing is scheduled in the House Ways and Means Committee on Friday to take a closer look into the practice.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says he believes that the blame for the IRS's missteps fall on Obama's door.
Senator Rand Paul is planning an op ed piece to be published in a number of papers in the next days