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Appropriators Set Listening Sessions on Spending Bills

Crenshaw is chairman of the panel overseeing Financial Services funding. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Six Appropriations subcommittee chairmen whose bills the House did not pass earlier this year will host listening sessions Nov. 17 through Nov. 19 so members can ask questions or provide input on the measures, according to a schedule obtained by CQ Roll Call.  

The one-hour, members-only sessions are expected to give appropriators and leadership an idea of what members will be looking for in a year-end government funding measure.  

Rand Paul Wants Internal GOP Debate Over Taxes

Paul proposed a flat tax Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In unveiling his proposal to slash taxes to a single 14.5 percent marginal rate, Sen. Rand Paul wants a debate over whether the GOP should only seek to simplify the tax code.  

In an interview with CQ Roll Call, the Kentucky Republican said the plan he outlined in an opinion piece published in Thursday's Wall Street Journal should encourage a debate about the amount of money the federal government should take in from tax receipts, upending the existing systems of taxes and tariffs along the way.  

Partisan Activities of Lerner Co-Worker at FEC

The blatant partisan activities  of an employee of the Federal Election Commission  have been detailed by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which is seeking information relating to a former co-worker, Lois Lerner. The loss of emails has hampered discovery.  

The committee released a letter  from chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., to Lee Goodman, the chairman of the Federal Election Commission, asking for records and information about the activities of April Sands. The Inspector General of the Commission reported she could not obtain some of Sands' emails, since the Commission had recycled her computer hard drive. As a result, there was no prosecution.  

Fundraising Starts for Lois Lerner's Legal Bills

A fundraising effort has started to help pay the legal bills of former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner .  

On May 7th, the House of Representatives approved a contempt citation against Lois G. Lerner, former Director, Exempt Organizations, Internal Revenue Service, for "refusal to comply with a subpoena duly issued by the Committee on Oversight & Government Reform." Lerner handled matters relating to the tax-exempt status of organizations.  

Cummings' Report: No White House Involvement in IRS Scandal

Cummings (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The White House never instructed the Internal Revenue Service to specifically target conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, according to a report released on Tuesday at the behest of Maryland Democrat Elijah E. Cummings.  

The report , which makes public "key portions" of all the interviews conducted by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee of 39 IRS and Treasury Department employees and officials, is the ranking member's latest effort to expose the GOP's yearlong investigation as politically motivated.  

House Oversight Votes to Hold Lois Lerner in Contempt (Video)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted along party lines Thursday to hold ex-IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress.  

The vote, coming as Congress heads out of town for a two-week recess, is the latest chapter in a year-long probe that has sparked some of the fiercest partisan clashes among panel members in recent memory — from cutting off the ranking member’s microphone  as he sought to speak to comparing the chairman to Sen. Joe McCarthy, R-Wis.

House Republicans Ask Holder to Pursue Criminal Charges for Ex-IRS Official (Updated)

Lerner (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 4:30 p.m. | The House Ways and Means Committee voted Wednesday in support of launching a criminal investigation into the woman at the center of the IRS scandal — just one day before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is set to vote on holding Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress.  

In a 23-14 party line vote, the Ways and Means panel approved submission of a formal letter to Eric H. Holder Jr., asking that the attorney general pursue charges against the former IRS official using evidence uncovered during the committee’s year-long investigation.  

Issa Cuts Off Cummings at IRS Hearing (Updated) (Video)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 11:57 a.m. | House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., cut off Rep. Elijah E. Cummings' microphone and adjourned this morning's hearing on the IRS while Cummings was still speaking — marking a new low in the pair's rocky relationship.  

The dust-up came at the end of the hearing where IRS official Lois Lerner again pleaded the Fifth Amendment and refused to testify — when Cummings, the ranking member of the panel and a Maryland Democrat, sought to ask a question and make a statement on the IRS inquiry.