Excerpted from THE HILL: The IRS admitted to lawmakers that it produced another pricey parody video for an agency conference at a cost of roughly $10,000.
The video, which spoofs the Donald Trump reality show “The Apprentice,” shows IRS officials discussing ways to cut training costs for its Small Business/Self-Employed division, which was hosting the conference. The House Ways and Means Committee released the video Friday.
Rep. Charles Boustany Jr. (R-La.), who heads the committee’s Oversight subpanel, said the latest video was “another example of abuse and waste” at the agency.
“There is nothing amusing about the American people footing the bill for this rogue and out of control agency,” he said in a statement.
The video depicts IRS officials gathered around a board table discussing ways to cut costs.
All employee names and specific references were redacted by the IRS before handing it over to Congress, according to a committee spokesperson.
One employee played the part of Donald Trump by wearing an obvious toupee and closing the video with his trademark catchphrase, “You’re fired!”
The reality show rip-off is just the latest costly video to earn the IRS scrutiny from Congress, as the agency remains under a harsh glare after admitting to improperly targeting Tea Party groups.
Previously, lawmakers in both parties were outraged that the IRS had a video production team with a multimillion dollar budget, and had spent roughly $60,000 to produce a pair of parody videos inspired by “Star Trek” and “Gilligan’s Island.”
The House Oversight Committee held a June hearing on high price tags for IRS conferences, including the parody videos. No hearings are in the works for the latest Trump-themed segment.
In a statement, the IRS said the videos are from a “prior era,” and do not reflect new stringent policies in place. It added that the Trump video would never have been made today. The IRS also noted that video costs at IRS business units are down by 90 percent compared to a year ago.