GOP Effort to Stop Government Abuse, Just for “Scoring Political Points”?

This week in the House has been dubbed “Stop Government Abuse Week,” and House Republicans are focusing on 12 bills designed to do just that. But by promoting these bills, are House Republicans merely feigning unity, conveniently right before upcoming midterm elections?

The Washington Post suggests that’s “absolutely” what’s going on — these bills will “generate support among GOP base voters, helping Republican lawmakers score political points back home.”

If there is abuse to be stopped in government — and there is — it’s something that should concern all Americans, regardless of where they lie on the political spectrum. And efforts to stop such abuse should be about more than scoring political points. Isn’t it a bit myopic to suggest that’s all that’s at play here?

Among the 12 bills designed to stop government abuse is the aptly named “Stop Targeting of Political Beliefs by the IRS Act.” The bill would “prohibit the Internal Revenue Service from modifying the standard for determining whether an organization is operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare for purposes of section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.”

This bill is in response to the IRS’s ongoing attacks on political expression of conservative organizations and the First Amendment rights of Americans.

Americans’ very freedom to express themselves politically and to act based on political beliefs is at stake. IRS targeting of conservative political groups is documented by the Inspector General and under ongoing investigation, as the House Committee on Ways and Means awaits more documentation.

The Heritage Foundation’s legal expert Hans von Spakovsky explains the IRS regulation in question would “seriously infringe the First Amendment rights of advocacy organizations.” He adds:

Not surprisingly, none of these new rules would apply to unions, which are the backbone of the voter registration and get-out-the vote activities of the president’s political party. But advocacy groups of all political persuasions should protest this proposed IRS regulation. It is aimed at chilling political speech and political activity.

If the attacks on your First Amendment rights and those of your fellow Americans disturbs you, you don’t have to remain silent.

Email your representative and tell them you support the “Stop Targeting of Political Beliefs by the IRS Act of 2014.”


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