GOP says Oba­macare of­fi­cial leaked IRS data Redac­tions in emails to White House

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics - BY STEPHEN DINAN

House Repub­li­can Wed­nes­day ac­cused the woman in charge of the IRS’ Oba­macare com­pli­ance of­fice of hav­ing leaked pri­vate tax­payer in­for­ma­tion to the White House, say­ing that calls into ques­tion the agency’s trust­wor­thi­ness in ad­min­is­ter­ing the new health care re­form law.

But Democrats mocked that con­clu­sion, com­par­ing the GOP’s ef­forts to the Salem witch tri­als and say­ing Sarah Hall In­gram, di­rec­tor of the IRS’ Af­ford­able Care Act Of­fice, is a highly hon­ored em­ployee who has served pres­i­dents of both par­ties.

The Repub­li­cans re­leased emails be­tween Ms. In­gram and the White House from 2012 that, when they were given to Congress un­der a doc­u­ment re­quest, were redacted be­cause they con­tained pro­tected tax­payer in­for­ma­tion, known as “6103” in­for­ma­tion.

GOP law­mak­ers charged that the emails show Ms. In­gram was shar­ing pro­tected in­for­ma­tion with the White House, which would be a vi­o­la­tion of fed­eral law.

“Why are po­lit­i­cal ap­pointees in the of­fice of the pres­i­dent re­ceiv­ing 6103 in­for­ma­tion?” House Over­sight and Gov­ern­ment Re­form Com­mit­tee Chair­man Dar­rell E. Issa of Cal­i­for­nia asked Ms. In­gram.

She replied that she was “not con­scious of ever shar­ing 6103 in­for­ma­tion at the White House” and said the de­ci­sions about redac­tions were made by some­one

“Fi­nally she’s here. We’ve been try­ing for

five months to get Ms. In­gram in front of this com­mit­tee. I was be­gin­ning to think there was no such per­son as

Sarah Hall In­gram.”

else at the IRS so she couldn’t say why those parts had been blacked out when they were given to Congress.

Ms. In­gram also told the com­mit­tee she couldn’t re­call what was writ­ten be­neath the redac­tions, which only piqued the GOP’s cu­rios­ity.

Repub­li­cans said the email ex­change with the White House in­volved the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s plans to im­pose the con­tra­cep­tive man­date un­der the health care law.

Com­mit­tee Repub­li­cans said the emails showed Ms. In­gram gave the White House ad­vice about a po­lit­i­cally sen­si­tive topic, which the GOP said was a vi­o­la­tion of the IRS’ neu­tral­ity.

Ms. In­gram was pre­vi­ously the boss of Lois Lerner, the woman at the center of the tea party tar­get­ing scan­dal, and now as head of the health care of­fice her tes­ti­mony was much in de­mand by Repub­li­cans.

“Fi­nally she’s here. We’ve been try­ing for five months to get Ms. In­gram in front of this com­mit­tee. I was be­gin­ning to think there was no such per­son as Sarah Hall In­gram,” said Rep. Jim Jor­dan, Ohio Repub­li­can.

Democrats, though, said the GOP was mak­ing wild ac­cu­sa­tions.

Rep. Ger­ald E. Con­nolly, Vir­ginia Demo­crat, led Ms. In­gram on a face­tious line of in­quiry to show what he thought of the Repub­li­cans’ ques­tions.

“You’re here un­der oath. Have you been con­sort­ing with the devil?” he de­manded of Ms. In­gram. “Not to my knowl­edge, sir,” she replied. “Are re­ports that you can fly ac­cu­rate?” he asked? “Greatly ex­ag­ger­ated, sir.” Ms. In­gram said the IRS’ sys­tems to han­dle the health care law are up and run­ning, and that the agency is keep­ing ap­pli­cants’ data pri­vate. Some crit­ics had warned the mas­sive health law would be a hacker’s dream.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS PHOTOGRAPHS

Sarah Hall In­gram, di­rec­tor of the Af­ford­able Care Act Of­fice at the In­ter­nal Rev­enue Ser­vice, told a House com­mit­tee Wed­nes­day that she was “not con­scious of ever shar­ing 6103 data in­for­ma­tion at the White House.”

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