CINCINNATI -- Senator Rob Portman is speaking out about the Cincinnati Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.
Portman said the scandal hits particularly close to home not only because he's from Cincinnati, but because he sits on the senate finance committee, which oversees the IRS.
Thursday afternoon, Portman once again brought up the possibility of bringing in a special prosecutor to investigate what happened.
"My concern is that if the administration isn't forth coming on these answers, then a special prosecutor will be necessary, Portman said. "We have to get to the bottom of it."
Portman explained some of his frustrations Thursday and said the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance submitted 41 questions to the IRS that they wanted answered by last week.
But Portman said they're still waiting.
The finance committee held a hearing on the scandal last month.
So far there have been five congressional hearings on Capitol Hill.
Portman and Rep. Steve Chabot spoke to a large gathering of tea party activists in Cincinnati at the end of May.
"The question is, 'How high up did it go?'" Chabot said, adding: "And what's going to be done about it?"
The Obama administration has said no senior officials were involved in targeting.
Chabot said investigations are still unfolding, and it's important to follow the facts and not to overreach in drawing conclusions. Portman linked the IRS scandal to the Benghazi attack investigation, and both he and Chabot said the Obama administration must be more forthcoming.
Portman said he finds it hard to believe that a couple of "rogue agents" in Cincinnati were responsible for the conservative targeting and that it was done as an efficiency measure to handle a large number of applications, as was initially suggested.
Portman said he hoped whistle-blowers would come forward to let people know what happened.
He said the possibility of a criminal investigation should at least be used as leverage to push for answers from the Obama administration.
Otherwise, Portman said, "We're going to have to go up to the next level."
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
A House committee is voting on whether to hold a former Internal Revenue Service official in contempt of Congress for refusing to answer…
The House Ways and Means Committee has voted to refer a former Internal Revenue Service official to the Justice Department for possible…
John Matarese looks into why so many people don't claim their tax refund
John Matarese has a warning about a major tax scam this spring.
The former Internal Revenue Service official at the heart of the agency's tea party scandal once again refused to answer questions at a…
The Internal Revenue Service says an official at the center of the agency's tea party scandal is retiring.
House Oversight Committee members want Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner to turn over emails sent from her personal account.
A state House committee meeting in Cincinnati will hear from Ohioans who believe they were targeted by the Internal Revenue Service because…
In what could be the first of multiple lawsuits over the rapidly unfolding IRS scandal, centered squarely in Cincinnati, the American Center…
Justin Binik-Thomas wants answers.