IRS, Benghazi, and Jobs
There’s been a lot going on in Washington these past couple of weeks and I wanted to make sure you’re up-to-date on everything that’s been happening. I spent the week of April 29th in the district, where I enjoyed speaking to the Pickens County Taxpayers, toured the Upstate with Senator Tim Scott, and sadly paid my respects to one of our own fallen soldiers, Private First Class Barrett Austin. Since coming back up to DC, it’s been non-stop action.
Here’s a quick overview of what’s been going on:
The IRS admitted and apologized for inappropriate targeting of conservative political groups during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status. One of the Third District’s own, the Laurens Tea Party, was one of these groups. Targeting your political enemies is something you'd expect in the old Soviet Union, not in the US. This IRS scandal is very concerning because it proves in my opinion, that this Administration cannot be trusted. We must have a special prosecutor to investigate. I don't want apologies from the IRS. I expect answers and demand consequences.
The House Oversight Committee held a hearing on Benghazi on May 8th. We learned that the State Department's number two official in Libya was never interviewed by the FBI about Benghazi. FBI & DOD assets were "shocked and amazed" they weren't being called in to help the victims. Those interviewed for State's official report weren't given the chance to confirm their testimony was used appropriately. We learned that the folks on the ground NEVER reported a protest or demonstration. The Ansar al-Sharia terror group claimed responsibility for the attack while it was still taking place. The number two official in Libya was told by Obama Administration lawyers not to cooperate with Congress, and said that Ambassador Rice's inaccurate comments undermined US efforts in Libya and hampered the FBI's investigation. One thing is for sure, this should only be the beginning of the investigation, not the end.
On May 15th, the House Natural Resources Committee approved my bill, H.R. 1613, the “Outer Continental Shelf Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreements Authorization Act” with a bipartisan vote of 25-16. This important legislation would will help lower energy costs while creating American jobs by safely opening up more than 1.5 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico for exploration and production. It’s a common sense approach to work with our partners south of the border to make both countries more energy secure, while protecting our sovereignty. This legislation works out the vast majority of differences with the Obama Administration, while also ensuring that those seeking to harvest these resources have the certainty they need to move forward. I’m optimistic that this legislation will pass the House of Representatives, and continue on its path towards becoming law.
Recently, it was also discovered that the Department of Justice secretly obtained phone records from numerous editors and reporters from the Associated Press in an effort to find out who leaked confidential information to it. These scandals are creating a growing mistrust of the federal government and anything less than full cooperation and transparency from the Administration is unacceptable as investigations move forward.
Don’t forget to connect with me on Facebook , Twitter, and YouTube to stay up-to-date on all the latest developments. Thank you for this opportunity to serve and I look forward to seeing you soon in South Carolina’s Third District!
Blessings and Liberty,
Member of Congress