Republican Hatch says IRS acting chief should leave

WASHINGTON Tue May 14, 2013 3:57pm EDT

U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) gestures after speaking to an audience at the 38th annual Conservative Political Action Conference meeting at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, February 11, 2011. REUTERS/Larry Downing

U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) gestures after speaking to an audience at the 38th annual Conservative Political Action Conference meeting at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, February 11, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The top Republican on the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee said on Tuesday it was time for the acting head of the Internal Revenue Service, Steven Miller, to leave his post amid a growing controversy over IRS scrutiny of conservative groups.

"He basically misled me. I really think it is time for him to leave," Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah told reporters.

The remarks came as the Senate Finance Committee and at least two U.S. House of Representatives panels are launching probes. The panels plan to look into the tax agency's use of search terms such as "Tea Party" in targeting tax-exempt status applications from conservative groups for closer scrutiny.

(Reporting by Kim Dixon; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Paul Simao)

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