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Democrats defeat amendments to protect Americans from IRS abuses

Everyone should agree the IRS should not be a tool for partisan warfare

February 27, 2014

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(202) 228-7561

WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Sen. Cruz, R-Texas, today offered two amendments in the Judiciary Committee to safeguard citizens’ free speech against unlawful and unjust targeting and designations by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

“Nearly nine months ago, President Obama declared the IRS’s illegal targeting of conservative groups ‘intolerable and inexcusable,’ yet his administration has authored a new rule to specifically limit free speech for many of those groups, which are classified as ‘social welfare’ organizations,” Sen. Cruz stated.

“Free speech is not a partisan issue. The IRS has no business meddling with the First Amendment rights of Americans. Rather than further stifling free speech, the IRS and the Department of Justice should provide the American people with all the facts surrounding the IRS’s targeting of certain organizations based on their political activity. We should all agree the IRS should not be used as a tool for partisan warfare.”

Sen. Cruz’s first amendment would have prohibited an IRS employee from intentionally targeting individuals or groups based on political views. It would have made it a crime for an IRS employee to willfully discriminate against groups based solely on the political beliefs or policy statements held, expressed, or published by that organization.

The second amendment would have amended the tax code to use the bipartisan, independent FEC’s definitions to determine whether an organization is engaging in political activity. The IRS should focus on taxation, rather than determining what is political activity.

Democrats on the Judiciary Committee unanimously opposed the amendments, defeating them both.

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