Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell reported their net worth in the millions of dollars as the U.S. Senate released personal financial disclosure reports for its members.
The almost daily disclosures by the White House about who knew about an IRS investigation before it became public has helped stoke the furor over the agency’s scrutiny of tax-exempt groups and given the president’s harshest critics an opening.
Put aside the politics, and the question of who-knew-what-when. There are two policy problems highlighted by the controversies at the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Justice. The first is the growth of 501(c)(4) groups into vehicles for anonymous and unlimited political spending. The second is the Barack Obama administration’s overzealous prosecution of leaks.
Washington is awash in scandals. The White House is fending off inquiries on three fronts: its response to the terrorist attack on a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi; the Internal Revenue Service’s scrutiny of conservative groups seeking tax exemptions; and the Justice Department’s broad seizure of Associated Press phone records in a leak probe.
Two companies whose owners claim to operate in accord with Catholic doctrine asked a U.S. appeals court to exempt them from a law requiring businesses to offer birth control coverage as part of employer health plans.