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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- "Anybody want to fire some IRS agents?" was Kentucky Senator Rand Paul's fiery beginning to his speech before the Tea Party Patriots "Audit the IRS" rally at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday afternoon.
Sen. Paul's next suggestion: "Why don't we start with the 16,000 IRS agents that are going to implement Obamacare?"
But most of Sen. Paul's address revolved around IRS scrutiny of tea party-related groups hoping for tax-exempt status. Saying, "I think we can have freedom and security and the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, all at the same time," he added, "I'm, like most Americans, horrified that my government has gotten out of control and is persecuting people for their religious and their political beliefs, and it needs to end, and it needs to end now."
The White House, along with some Republicans and Democrats have criticized the IRS since May. That's when one of its officials apologized for targeting conservative groups' applications for tax-exempt status for close examination. President Barack Obama has replaced the agency's acting director and several other top IRS officials have stepped aside.
Several Republicans have said they believe the focus on conservative groups came from the White House. No direct ties to White House or any other top administration officials have yet to be publicly established in ongoing investigations by three congressional committees and the FBI.
Paul also maintained that the government employee who refused to testify during hearings into the matter had been "doing this for decades," and that while at the Federal Election Commission, she was, "telling Republican candidates that, 'You need to quit, and we'll leave you alone, but you need to never run for office again.' She's been using this bullying nature of government and we're sick and tired of government bullies and we need to send them home."