Tuesday, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Regulatory Affairs Subcommittee Chairman Jim Jordan today requested that IRS Commissioner John Koskinen withdraw the controversial proposed IRS regulation that would limit political speech by nonprofit organizations. Issa argues that his Committee’s investigation into the IRS’s targeting scandal “has raised serious flaws and concerns about the process and substance of the proposed rule.”
“The proposed regulation is intended to clarify the tax-exemption determinations process and resolve problems identified in a Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) audit report. It does not,” wrote Chairman Issa and Chairman Jordan. “As written, the Administration’s proposed rule will stifle the speech of social welfare organizations and will codify and systemize targeting of organizations whose views are at odds with those of the Administration. In addition to these substantive concerns, we also have serious concerns about the process by which the Administration promulgated this rule.”
Concerns include the following, detailed in the letter:
· The proposed rule codifies the Obama Administration’s earlier attempts to stifle political speech.
· The proposed rule improperly applies Federal Election Commission standards to tax-exempt organizations.
· The IRS’s efforts to develop new restrictions on political speech for non-profit groups, led by Lois Lerner and the IRS chief counsel’s office, began long before the TIGTA audit was released.
· The proposed regulation will needlessly harm social welfare organizations.
Read today’s letter here.
Meanwhile, it is now being reported that Obama didn’t consult Justice before saying there was not a smidgen of corruption at the IRS.
President Obama didn’t check with the Justice Department before saying there was no corruption at the IRS, the department’s deputy told Congress on Tuesday, ahead of several potential showdowns on Capitol Hill this week.
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen is scheduled to appear before the tax-writing committee Wednesday, where he will likely have to defend new rules clamping down on non-profit groups. And Republicans have invited a Justice Department lawyer involved in investigating the IRS to testify Thursday — though Deputy Attorney General James Cole has said he won’t allow her to appear.
Wednesday Thursday morning’s Oversight hearing, The IRS Targeting Investigation: What is the Administration Doing? starts at 9:30 a.m.
Linked by Doug Ross, thanks!