In an exclusive interview following the hearing Thursday by the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee, the Pennsylvania Republican told Newsmax he was sending a letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen demanding an audit of the group following allegations that it has been harvesting and selling body parts of aborted fetuses.
"Just as we are looking at the targeting of groups for audits that have been done, it’s important to look at audits that are not being done," said Kelly.
The Pennsylvanian said the idea of pursuing an IRS audit of Planned Parenthood came to him and his staff Wednesday evening before the hearings. In reading the group’s 990 Form of June 30, 2013, "We found they had revenues of $196,986,791. But when we looked a bit deeper, we found that a lot of where that money was going to was simply put under the general heading of 'fees for services.'"
The details of those fees have, in Kelly’s words, "been left open to the imagination."
Most significant, Kelly stressed, is that "if the reports are true that Planned Parenthood has engaged in and profited from the sale of fetal tissues and organs, then this is illegal activity and certainly not covered by the tax-exempt status this organization has under the U.S. Tax Code as a 501(c)(3)."
Under Section 501(c)(3), a tax-exempt organization must be operated exclusively "for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes" or "for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals."
If no such audit has been done, he wrote, "then I urge the IRS to begin an audit of the organization as soon as possible."
Kelly told us that House Speaker John Boehner has urged colleagues to "make sure we get the facts" about Planned Parenthood, and Ways and Means Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam, R-Ill., is "supportive" of the course he is pursuing.
Asked about the unfolding controversy regarding Planned Parenthood, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said July 17: "It is my understanding that Planned Parenthood has followed the highest ethical guidelines."