Legislation Passed Tuesday Would Stop IRS Abuse
In recent years, we have seen an extraordinary abuse of power by the executive branch of the government. One of the executive agencies inflicting outrageous abuse on the taxpayer is the Internal Revenue Service. The agency has been caught targeting law-abiding Americans for expressing their first amendment right to free speech. If that were not egregious enough, many IRS employees have shown to be delinquent on the very taxes they are hired to collect. Action taken Tuesday (April 19) by the House of Representatives would remedy both of these problems.
The passage of H.R. 4903 would prevent the use of IRS funds to target citizens or organizations for exercising their First Amendment rights. An August 2015 report, the Senate Finance Committee found the IRS to not only target politically conservative groups, “but it also actively assisted both the DOJ and the FEC in the pursuit of various initiatives aimed at chilling the political speech rights of conservative organizations.” The government should never target any one person or group based on their political beliefs and the agency tasked with collection of taxes should always be non-partisan instead of conducting political hit jobs.
H. Res. 687 was also passed by the House Tuesday and stops the IRS from hiring any additional staffers until the Treasury Secretary can report that no IRS employees owe seriously delinquent tax debt. It should be impossible for the IRS to conduct its work if its own employees are not abiding by the law, but numerous reports have shown IRS employees to have delinquent taxes.
More work is needed to reform the culture of the agency, but these important first steps could go a long way in restoring the trust of the American taxpayer. I urge the Senate to take quick action on these bills.