U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, today announced his intent to file two bills to protect Americans from partisan abuses and political targeting by the IRS.
I didn’t realize that this kind of thing… wasn’t already illegal.
I mean, shouldn’t that be the first law written in a nation binding itself by the “social contract” and based upon the premise that we are a nation of “free” men.
Apparently it took the IRS targeting conservatives to get folks to realize that we may not want the government picking out specific citizens to persecute based on their political proclivities. Well, at least now we’ll make sure that it won’t happen again, right?
Oh, wait. Ted Cruz is the man bringing the bill which virtually guarantees that the entire Democrat Party will be against it. I mean, Cruz could bring a bill saying water is good for you and eating rocks is bad… and some Democrat would get up to filibuster it and argue that the science on the issue is unsettled.
Here’s Senator Cruz’s full statement from his press release announcing his new bill.
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, today announced his intent to file two bills to protect Americans from partisan abuses and political targeting by the IRS. Both bills will be cosponsored by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-IA, Sen. James Inhofe, R-OK, and Sen. David Vitter, R-LA.
“In May 2013 President Obama declared the IRS’s illegal targeting of conservative groups ‘intolerable and inexcusable,’ yet to this date no one has been held accountable for it,” Sen. Cruz said. “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.”
Sen. Cruz added, “I look forward to Ms. Lynch’s responses to these very important issues at her upcoming confirmation hearings. We should all agree the IRS should not be used as a tool for partisan warfare.”
The first measure would prohibit IRS employees from intentionally targeting individuals or groups based on their political views. The legislation 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. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-MO, will also cosponsor this measure.
The second measure 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, rather than allowing the IRS to continue making that distinction. The IRS should focus on taxation, not on determining what constitutes political activity.
Sen. Cruz introduced similar measures in February, 2014 as amendments to legislation before the Senate Judiciary Committee, the STOP Identity Theft Act. Unfortunately, Democrats unanimously opposed the amendments.
You can see the complete text of the bill he’s proposing at his site as well.
Honestly, it’s about time we developed something like this. My only suggestion for improvement is that this bill should be much broader. He’s split it into two measures focusing on the IRS, but really, the same principles should be applied across the board.
That said, this bill is sadly necessary. We are more than a year removed from the IRS scandal breaking as headline news and NO ONE has been punished for the egregious attack on our political liberty. That cannot happen EVER again.
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