Traverse City Record-Eagle

Opinion

May 19, 2013

George Weeks: Camp, Levin address IRS scandal

As Washington deals with cascading scandals, Michigan lawmakers are among leaders seeking bipartisan solutions.

Most notable last week was leadership of 4th District Rep. Dave Camp, R-Midland, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, and 12th District Rep. Sander Levin, D-Royal Oak, its minority ranking member.

In opening a four-hour hearing on the targeting of conservative political groups by the Internal Revenue Service, 12-term Camp sternly said: “…this appears to be just the latest example of a culture of cover-ups—and political intimidation—in this Administration. It seems like the truth is hidden from the American people just long enough to make it through an election.”

Not surprisingly, 16-term Democrat Levin was not as harsh on the Obama administration as Camp—and cautioned against “an effort to score political points”—but Levin said: “What is now completely clear is that the management and oversight of the agency’s handling of tax exemption applications have completely failed the American people. …All of us are angry on behalf of the nation.“

With a slam of the gavel Friday, Camp said that while the hearing was over, “I promise the American people that this investigation has just begun. “ Camp-Levin plan more hearings this week.

Levin, a former state senator who in 1970 and 1974 narrowly lost to Gov. William G. Milliken, is the older brother of Sen. Carl Levin, Michigan’ s longest-serving senator who is not seeking reelection but is currently prominent in a number of current bipartisan corrective efforts on Capitol Hill.

Carl Levin is longtime chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and works cooperatively with ranking Republican John McCain of Arizona on a number of current military issues, including those in Libya. They also have the chairman-ranking relationship on the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which also is looking into the IRS issue and plans hearings in June.

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