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Lawmakers continue hearings on IRS scandal

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WASHINGTON, DC (FOX19) -

Cincinnati remains front and center on Capitol Hill as lawmakers continue ongoing hearings regarding the controversial targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt statuses.

Members of the Senate Finance Committee criticized the nation's tax laws in addition to the Cincinnati workers who enforced them.

"Even the best training doesn't prepare employees to fairly apply ambiguous rules," Senator Ron Wyden argued.

"Form where I sit as a former IRS commissioner, if Congress could help clarify the law, that would be very helpful for me," Douglas Shulman testified.

Despite the complex codes governing non-profits, legislators agree there is no excuse for singling out groups based on names or ideology.

"Was there no ongoing oversight of the employees in Cincinnati and what they were doing?" questioned Senator Debbie Stabenow.

"I agree that this is an issue that when someone spotted it they should have run up the chain and they didn't," former IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman responded. "Why they didn't I don't know."

The be-on-the-lookout or "BOLO" list that specifically targeted Tea Party and patriot groups remained the center of the controversy during Tuesday's hearing.

"I don't want to understate concerns with the list because we should not have done that, we simply should not have done that," former acting IRS commissioner Steven Miller admitted.

Miller testified that when he found out about the BOLO list he transferred and reassigned an employee involved in the letters and asked the person he believed was responsible get oral counseling.

The Inspector General for Tax administration J. Russell George says IRS workers in Cincinnati did try to get clarification from their headquarters unit in Washington D.C., but says it took almost a year before they got a response on how to handle some of the controversial cases.

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