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Sen. Cruz Requests Vote on His Legislation to Stop IRS Targeting

Under Majority Leader Reid, Republicans shut out from having votes on their bills

WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, today requested that the bills he previously introduced, S.2066 and S.2067, that would stop the Internal Revenue Service’s illegal targeting, receive a vote on the floor before giving his consent to pass Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s (D-MN) legislation, S.149.

“It was roughly ten months ago that the Inspector General of the Department of Treasury concluded that the IRS had wrongfully targeted conservative groups, tea party groups, pro-Israel groups, and pro-life groups. The day that news broke, the President said that he was outraged. He said that the American people had a right to be angry. In the ten months that have passed, we have discovered that not a single person has been indicted and many of the victims of this illegal targeting have not even been interviewed by the Department of Justice…”

Sen. Cruz continued, “I ask this body to stand with the words of President Obama, if not the actions. And I ask this body to stand with the American people to protect them from being wrongfully singled out by the abuse of power in the IRS.”

In February, Sen. Cruz introduced two amendments in the Senate Judiciary Committee in response to proposed IRS rules that would have further stifled free speech even after its illegal targeting of conservative groups was revealed. Unfortunately, the amendments were defeated on a party-line vote.

Although Sen. Cruz supports S.149, he noted in his remarks that under Majority Leader Harry Reid, Republicans are shut out from having votes on their legislation. He noted that, “It has been the practice under the current Majority Leader to prevent the minority from introducing amendments … so the only avenue for the minority to have a voice is to use tools such as denying consent to try to raise issues that are relevant to the American people.” He later added, “I would note this request is less than what I asked in my unanimous consent. It's not a request that it pass. It's simply a request that there be a vote.“

Sen. Cruz’s first piece of legislation, based off his Committee amendments, would prohibit an IRS employee from intentionally targeting individuals or groups based on their political views. It would make 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.

His second piece of legislation, also based off his Committee amendments,  would amend the tax code to use the bipartisan, independent Federal Election Commission’s (FEC) definitions to determine whether an organization is engaging in political activity. The IRS should focus on taxation, rather than determining what is political activity.