Yes, We’re a website dedicated to Georgia politics. That means our focus is on state and local issues and those that work and play among them. But every so often national political stories invade the news space to the point that our commenting community has to have somewhere to go to get some things out of their system. So, if you want to discuss Benghazi, the IRS, or the Administration’s decision to get phone records from those who work for the Associated Press, we’ll give you the comments from Congressman Tom Price (R-GA-Not Running for Senate) and Congressman John Barrow (D-GA-Not Running for Senate) to get you started.
From Congressman Price:
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Price, M.D. (R-GA) responded to the recent flurry of reports surrounding the Obama Administration, saying:
“In speech after speech, President Obama has bemoaned hyper-partisanship. In his mind, he’s sought to foster trust in government while eroding cynicism. And yet, the very actions of his administration in reaction to recent events has done just the opposite.
“As further details have emerged about the attack on our consulate in Benghazi, new questions and concerns have been raised about what role and to what extent the Administration went to deceive the public on a terrorist attack. In the mounting controversy involving the IRS, it has come to light that public resources available to the executive branch were used to intimidate private organizations and American citizens from participating in the public debate. We have learned that the Obama Administration secretly obtained phone records of the Associated Press over a two month-period, including those from reporters’ personal home and mobile phones, as well as lines at the U.S. House of Representatives. And finally, the Obama Administration has begun soliciting funds from private companies and philanthropic organizations to help pay to persuade Americans to sign up for the health care exchanges instituted by President Obama’s health care law.
“In each of these cases, the White House has refused to take any responsibility. Instead, the President and his administration have obfuscated, shifted blame or questioned the motives of those genuinely concerned with seeking resolution to these matters. Absent such leadership, I must ask: Mr. President, how can the American people trust you?”
Rep. Tom Price, M.D. serves as the vice chairman of the House Committee on the Budget. He is also a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means, as well as the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
And from Congressman Barrow:
WASHINGTON – U.S. Congressman John Barrow (GA-12) today sent a letter to President Barack Obama in response to the recent reports of the Internal Revenue Service specifically targeting conservative organizations for in-depth reviews. In his letter, Congressman Barrow also called on the White House to fully comply with the investigations into the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi and the Department of Justice tapping the phone lines of Associated Press reporters.
“Folks in the 12th District in Georgia and across the country are demanding answers to the federal government’s recent serious missteps,” said Congressman Barrow. “It’s important for us to get to the bottom of scandals within the IRS and the DOJ and hold the appropriate personnel responsible for abusing the public’s trust. Four Americans were killed in Benghazi and dozens more in embassies in recent years. This Administration has a duty to fully comply with investigations into each of these matters and to make sure they never happen again. What’s left of the public’s trust in the federal government is quickly diminishing, and we need to do everything we can to restore confidence in our government.”
The full text of Congressman Barrow’s letter to the President is below:
Dear Mr. President,
I held three town hall meetings this past weekend. As you might expect, the response to the attacks in Benghazi and admissions of mismanagement at the IRS were among the most fervent topics of conversation. When I am home this coming weekend, I expect that the Department of Justice’s subpoena of Associated Press journalists’ phone records will, rightly, be added to the list. These situations are eroding what little confidence many of the people I represent have in their government.
On September 11, 2012, four people died in the terrorist attack in Benghazi, and dozens of people have died at U.S. foreign diplomatic offices over the past several decades. Despite the politics, these are failures worthy of investigation and reason enough for reforms to make sure this never happens again. The people in my district in Georgia and all across the country demand answers, and it’s critical that we understand what happened to prevent further attacks.
I’m very concerned about admissions that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) applied heightened scrutiny to the applications for tax exempt status of certain groups based simply on the perceived partisan descriptors in their names. Nobody loves the IRS, but at least we’ve been able to count on them being independent and non-partisan. Partisan profiling flies in the face of everything we stand for as a country, and political cherry picking of organizations for in-depth investigation only adds to the public’s distrust of the federal government.
The facts about the Associated Press subpoena are only beginning to come out. I understand that the government needs to investigate leaks of classified information that put Americans in danger. But initial reports appear to show an uncommonly expansive investigation without much detail about the justification.
It is fundamental that the government follows and enforces the law without bias, and that we learn from our mistakes so that Americans all over the world are safe. I urge your Administration to fully comply with current and future Congressional investigations to try to restore our country’s confidence in those principles.