In a letter to acting IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel on Tuesday, Grassley said it violates an April directive from the White House to agencies to halt all bonuses because of budget constraints. Werfel, who worked at the Office of Management and Budget at the time, was the author of those guidelines
“The IRS always claims to be short on resources,” Grassley said in a statement on Wednesday. “But it appears to have $70 million for union bonuses.”
The bonuses, which were reported earlier Wednesday by The Associated Press
, are sure to provide the GOP with an explosive new line of criticism of the agency, which has come fire for targeting conservative groups for extra review as they applied for a tax exemption.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, the top Republican member of the Senate Finance Committee, said “further scrutiny” is required.
“It’s like robbing Peter to pay Paul,” the Utah Republican said. “On the one hand, the IRS claims it’s short on resources, but on the other hand, it appears they’re ready to dole out $70 million in bonuses that looks like a payoff to union workers
at a time when we’re drowning in a sea of red ink.”