The (Acting) IRS Chief Resigns Amid What Obama Calls "Inexcusable" Misconduct

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
May 15 2013 7:17 PM

The (Acting) IRS Chief Resigns Amid What Obama Calls "Inexcusable" Misconduct

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President Obama pauses while making a statement in the East Room of the White House on Wednesday

Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

President Obama announced this evening that Steven Miller will resign as acting commissioner of the IRS, the first in what the president suggested would be multiple actions in response to the discovery that the IRS had targeted conservative groups for special scrutiny.

Obama said that Treasury Secretary Jack Lew was the one who requested Miller resign, although the president's remarks made it clear that it was a decision that had his support. "I reviewed the Treasury Department watchdog's report and the misconduct that it uncovered is inexcusable," he said in the East Room. "Americans have a right to be angry about it, and I'm angry about it."

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The news follows unconfirmed reports that two Cincinnati-based employees had been disciplined for their role in the controversy. That news, however, did little to appease GOP lawmakers, several of which suggested they wanted to see a bolder-face name take the fall. "If heads are going to roll, they will have to roll in Washington—not just Cincinnati," Sen. Chuck Grassley told ABC News prior to the announcement. "This is more than a rogue employee."

Speaking at a press conference where he didn't take questions, Obama suggested that his administration would take additional actions to prevent similar controversies in the future. "I will not tolerate this type of behavior in any agency but especially the IRS given the power it has and the reach it has," he said.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

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