So, we can complain about what the law says. This issue is about the enforcement of that law. The American people deserve to know that it's not being biased, that's it's even-handed, that it's fair, particular with regard to tax collection.
The power to tax is the power to destroy, you know, Chief Justice Marshall said and he said it well.
So there's no more sensitive area of government. And that's what we need to find out.
And by the way, earlier we heard some discussion from Dan Pfeiffer about, you know, whether the IRS is the appropriate body now to look into Obamacare. And he didn't sound very confident. He said we'll have to look into that.
So, to this point you made earlier about that Dan Balz's article in the Washington Post, active government, big government was promised to be able to deal with these issues to solve our problems, I do think that's also being brought into question.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me quickly follow up on that, do you believe it's appropriate for Sarah Hall Ingram, who was the head of the tax exempt division now overseeing the president's health care plan to remain in that position?
PORTMAN: Well, we don't know enough yet. She apparently was at the tax-exempt office, heading it up until 2012, which was the period during which this, again, biased targeting occurred, that now, you know, everybody agrees was the wrong thing to do and violated taxpayer's rights. So, we need to find out why she was given promotions during that period and then why she was promoted to another job to take care of even a bigger responsibility. Now the IRS is being asked to take on which is implementing Obamacare.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Menendez.
PORTMAN: You know, George, I was involved in the 1990s in IRS reforms.
MENENDEZ: With all due respect to my colleague, it's not about changing the law, it's about investigating the law to make that it's applied appropriately. And where there are hundreds of millions of dollars being used for political advocacy and to determine the outcome of election, and that people can get a tax break on that when they're not supposed to, that should be investigated as well. So, we don't need to change the law, we're talking about pursuing the law.
And I find it interesting with my colleagues that seem far more interested in investigating than legislating. They only want to investigate certain things. And they only want to pursue these investigations, to a very large degree -- beyond the IRS, this is not the only investigation they want -- to have a dysfunctional congress.
When you have a Heritage Foundation, their action arm saying, don't bring a bipartisan farm bill to the floor because you'll distract from these investigations. The American people want to see us legislate and solve their problems, not just spend our time investigating.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you believe that the American people, given what happened here at the IRS is going to trust IRS oversight of the president's health care plan?