WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) voted in favor of legislation to prevent the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from unfairly targeting tax-exempt organizations based on their political affiliations. The Stop Targeting of Political Beliefs by the IRS Act (H.R. 3865) would impose a one year delay on a rule proposed by the Obama administration to narrow the standards that an organization must meet to attain 501(c)(4) status. These new standards would violate the First Amendment by prohibiting tax-exempt organizations from engaging in actions or speech that the administration deems to fall under the category of “candidate-related political activity.” H.R. 3865 would instead mandate that the IRS return to using the standards that were in place prior to 2010 when determining whether an organization meets 501(c)(4) requirements.
“The Obama administration has an unfortunate history of trampling on the rights of the American people, and the newly proposed IRS regulations are no exception,” said Congressman Jones. “I believe today’s legislation is a necessary step to protect our First Amendment rights – particularly given the fact that the IRS has admittedly engaged in discriminatory practices in the recent past.”
In addition, Congressman Jones joined 51 of his House colleagues to demand that Attorney General Eric Holder appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS’s illegal targeting of conservative groups during the 2012 election cycle. Congressman Jones and his colleagues pointed out that no employees have been indicted since the actions of the IRS were brought to light. Rather, the investigation into the scandal is being led by Barbara Bosserman – a known donor to Democratic campaigns and employee of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, which is historically recognized as the most partisan office at the agency.
The letter sent to Attorney General Holder by Congressman Jones and his colleagues is available at the link below.