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IRS reviewing relationship with ACORN

NOTE: This post has been updated (2:45 p.m. CDT)
to reflect recent legislative actions with regard to ACORN.

In the wake of videotapes revealing improper activities and advice provided by ACORN employees in Baltimore, New York and Washington, D.C., the IRS is reevaluating its working relationship with the community group.

Republican members of Congress also have been pressuring the IRS to sever ties with the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and several of his fellow Republicans have sent IRS Commissioner Shulman and President Obama letters expressing their concern about federal involvement with and funding of ACORN.

ACORN and the IRS: ACORN is a part of the IRS' Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. VITA is a respected nationwide service that each filing season helps taxpayers who earn $49,000 or less annually complete their tax returns.

According to Tax Analysts, the IRS says it is reviewing its relationship with ACORN.

Boehner, along with Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Dave Camp (R-Mich.), are hoping that review results in an end to ACORN and IRS working together.

In the letter to Shulman, the Representatives urged the agency to "sever all ties" with a tax preparation partner that "allegedly employs individuals who encourage tax fraud."

Funding cut-off sought, too: Boehner also spearheaded another letter, cosigned by 133 House members, to Obama asking that the president "use your authority to publicly disclose and terminate all federal funding to ACORN and its affiliates. "

Although Republicans are making political hay out of the ACORN situation, Beohner says this is not the first time he has sought to cancel federal money for ACORN.

The letter is similar to those sent last year to Dubya and then-Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Steven Preston requesting that the Bush Administration block funding to ACORN. notes Boehner.

Anti-ACORN Update: The Caucus, the New York Times' political blog, just posted (12:15 p.m. CDT) that the Senate also is getting in on the anti-ACORN act.

"Not satisfied with overwhelmingly winning a Senate ban on housing and transportation dollars going to the community group that is in the sights of conservatives, Senator Michael Johanns, Republican of Nebraska, on Thursday offered the same ban to a measure covering spending by the Interior Department," reported Carl Hulse on the NYT blog.

And because of procedural problems in connection with continual requests for floor votes. Johanns also is developing a proposal to ban ACORN from receiving any federal money whatsoever.

Anti-ACORN Update 2: This afternoon (2:30ish Central time) the House voted overwhelmingly to yank ACORN funding.

Laughter, the best political medicine: While the ACORN situation caught on tape is deplorable, thank goodness we have Jon Stewart. In case you missed it, here's the Comedy Central anchorman's take on the matter:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The Audacity of Hos
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