Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., had some strong words Thursday as she gathered alongside tea party groups from around the country who said they had been targeted by the IRS. Reflecting on her regular trips back home to Minnesota, she said people are fed up with the Obama administration.
"There isn't a weekend that hasn't gone by that someone says to me, 'Michele, what in the world are you all waiting for in Congress? Why aren't you impeaching the president? He's been making unconstitutional actions since he came into office," the former tax lawyer said.
According to an Inspector General's report, many tea party and other conservative groups were sent lengthy questionnaires as they sought tax-exempt status. Groups were asked to disclose the names of donors, asked whether their chief operating officers would ever consider running for office and called on to disclose the political affiliations of leaders.
The scandal has given tea party groups a rallying cry and reinvigorated the grassroots movement that had faded into the political backdrop. They said they won't stop at a simply holding another rally. Many planned on suing the IRS. Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice, said he expects to see civil suits filed, perhaps as early as next week.
"There are monetary damages here," Sekulow said.
Bachmann pledged to continue fighting for tea party groups as investigations unfold.
"This is not a 24-hour news cycle story," she said. "There is a common thread that runs through all of these stories. It's abuse of power potentially, but [also for] the administration to advance their political ends."
Speaker John Boehner joined in the chorus Thursday during his own weekly press conference speculating someone higher up in the IRS must have known about the efforts to target conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.
"I want to see the facts. I want to know how this happened. Somebody made a decision to do this," Boehner said. "I doubt that it was some low-level employees in the Cincinnati field office."
Other tea party leaders in Congress, including Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, also joined in the rally to scold the administration.
"This is how a tyrannical government comes into being," Gohmert said.
Friday, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., will hold an accountability hearing with IRS leaders to discuss the agency's scandal. And the House Oversight Committee, which rarely misses an opportunity to hold the Obama administration accountable, is also planning on holding hearings next week.