House GOP takes stand against IRS attempt to ‘silence political speech’

House Republicans are determined to take a stand against the IRS.

Fighting back against what they called a “blatant attempt to silence political speech,” Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee voted Tuesday to delay new Internal Revenue Service rules covering how non-profits get tax exempt status.

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Photo: Politico
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman David Camp, R-Mich.

The Obama administration’s Treasury Department argues the new rules are aimed at clearing up ambiguities, but Republicans and the conservative groups that were targeted by the IRS in the years leading up to Obama’s re-election in 2012 say the regulations are just giving legal cover to political targeting the president himself once called “outrageous.”

“The notion that the administration would rush forward with rules intended to remove these groups from the public forum is simply unacceptable,” said Ways and Means Chairman David Camp, R-Mich., according to Fox News.

“I have long made clear that this committee will fight any and all efforts to restrict the rights of groups to organize, speak out and educate the public.”

Camp’s committee isn’t the only one fighting.

Last week, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee heard riveting testimony from Catherine Engelbrecht, the founder of True the Vote voter integrity group, who described how the manufacturing business she owns with her husband was targeted by the IRS and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration after she became politically active. (See: Chilling video: True the Vote founder’s riveting details of harassment by Obama’s ‘political machine’)

The Ways and Means Committee bill to delay the regulations passed on a party-line vote, 23-13, and it likely has little chance of eventually passing, since Democrats hold the Senate.

But the symbolism of the vote – and the stakes at issue – are unmistakable.

“Make no mistake about it: the Obama administration is doing this as a blatant attempt to silence political speech,” Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., said in a statement.

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Joe Saunders

Joe Saunders, a 25-year newspaper veteran, is a staff writer and editor for BizPac Review who lives in Tallahassee and covers capital and Florida politics. Email Joe at jpjsaunders@gmail.com.
About Joe Saunders

Joe Saunders, a 25-year newspaper veteran, is a staff writer and editor for BizPac Review who lives in Tallahassee and covers capital and Florida politics. Email Joe at jpjsaunders@gmail.com.

  • renee52

    Blatant attempt to curb political speech is an understatement! The president was miffed when the Supreme Court voted to allow corporations free speech and donations and he took it upon himself to curb it before the last election!! Everyone can see this!

  • SusieQ

    Just hope it is followed through. At least it is a start.

  • Ysel1948

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  • Francisco Ringoli

    Citizens and Patriots: Always keep in mind that the light of liberty is each of us: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0094KY878

  • Jan McMullen

    Obama and the Dems have played this perfectly! Give him his pen,walk that fine line of illegality and let the other side try and stop them .They ALL hide behind the color of his skin! Seriously WHAT do you think will happen if they called him out? An ALL OUT racial riot in this country! This is what they have been jamming the airwaves with all the while doing the dirty little deeds that continue to weaken our freedoms!

  • bittman

    I know the Republicans in the Senate are also drafting a bill. In all likelihood, Reid will can that bill as well as the bill from the House. The Democrats want to prevent grassroot activists from helping to elect Republicans. That is why they are encouraging the IRS to discriminate against 501c4s — and not the 501c3s (charities and other non profits) or the 501c5s (unions) which have similar social welfare goals. The fact that the unions have contributed more than $4.4 billion to Democrats candidates and their causes over the last decade prove this. If the IRS implements this regulation, I predict it will go all the way to the Supreme Court.

  • Brandon Johns

    This administration is eerily becoming more and more similar to Hitler and his Nazi party in the 1930s.