The ranking Democratic member on the House Ways and Means Committee is calling on Acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller to resign, along with exempt-organizations division director Lois Lerner.
"My own judgement is, just based on the report from the inspector general, I think there's reason to believe that Mr. Miller should be released of his responsibilities as well as Ms. Lerner," Rep. Sandy Levin (D-Mich.) told MSNBC. "There was such total mismanagement."
Levin said lawmakers would learn more when Miller appears before his committee, the chief tax-writing body in House, on Friday.
In the new world of proliferating 501(c)4 groups, Levin argued, the agency needs a commanding leader.
"I think they need to appoint someone who is in command of the issues and is a real presence," Levin added. "We need someone to take charge of this, to make sense of it, to manage it well."
Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have called on Miller to resign. But Levin is the first notable Democrat to do so. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Tuesday that "we need to take action to stop this inappropriate behavior at the Internal Revenue Service" but did not call for specific resignations. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has said that some IRS officials should go to jail. In a letter to Obama, Senate Republicans demanded "all IRS employees involved in designing and implementing these prohibited political screenings" be made available for hearings.
The targeting of conservative groups took place under Miller's predecessor, Douglas Shulman. But Miller, his deputy commissioner at the time, was briefed on the targeting and did not inform Congress of it despite repeated inquiries. Miller is widely regarded among IRS employees as an effective manager.