Last night, Fox News’ Political Insiders discussed the IRS scandal, and the fact that so far, the Obama Regime been allowed to get away with criminal acts that would have been the downfall of any other president. As a way of explaining the GOP’s lack of action on the scandal, Pat Caddell explained, “the reason is, the establishment Republicans want the IRS to go after the Tea Parties. Got it? They want to go after the Tea Parties because the Tea Parties are an outside threat to their power hold, and I’m telling you, the lobbying, consulting class of the Republican Party and Republican leadership who have been attacking the Tea Parties and alienating them, they want the IRS to do this.”
That, of course, is just Caddell’s opinion. He doesn’t necessarily have information (other than Republican fecklessness) to reach that conclusion.
And it’s not entirely true that the Republican leadership has done nothing. As CBS News reports, congressional Republicans are pulling out all the stops to oppose the IRS rule changes that would affect 501 (C) (4) non profit groups.
Republicans are keeping a wary eye on the agency’s moves. This week, the GOP stepped up its protests against the proposed changes to IRS rules that would significantly limit the way certain nonprofit groups can engage in political activity. After sending a series of letters calling for the rule change to be abandoned, Republicans have started pursuing legislation that would halt the rule changes, arguing that the so-called reforms would actually exacerbate the problem — essentially codifying such behavior.
“Instead of putting safeguards in place to protect our civil liberties, the Obama administration is now dragging the IRS back in the opposite direction,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “It’s now pushing a regulation that would actually entrench and encourage the harassment of groups that dare to speak up and engage in the conversation.”
Senator McConnell; Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio; House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.; and other Republican leaders from both chambers a letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen last week asking him to abandon the rule changes. House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Regulatory Affairs Subcommittee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, also sent a letter making the same request.
In other news, Robert Costa is reporting that Congressional Republicans are now focusing on calming their divided ranks.
After a tumultuous week of party infighting and leadership stumbles, congressional Republicans are focused on calming their divided ranks in the months ahead, mostly by touting proposals that have wide backing within the GOP and shelving any big-ticket legislation for the rest of the year.
Comprehensive immigration reform, tax reform, tweaks to the federal health-care law — bipartisan deals on each are probably dead in the water for the rest of this Congress.
Republican leaders are also quite aware of voters’ skepticism about the GOP’s policies, and most believe that a softer sell, rather than an assertive attempt to pass major bills, is a smart play. A Washington Post-ABC News poll in January found that just 19 percent of Americans have confidence in congressional Republicans to make the right decisions for the country, while 80 percent do not.
That means a huge chunk of Republicans don’t trust them, either.
On health care, Republicans will offer their own wholesale substitute for the Affordable Care Act in the spring or summer, making full repeal of the law a keystone of their election-year message.
Republican operatives said the GOP’s slowing pace is unsurprising, given the party’s internal squabbles and the usual pattern ahead of midterm elections, a period that has rarely provided moments for ambitious bipartisan legislating.
If the Republican leadership were really interested in calming the ranks, they would give the go ahead on that select committee on Benghazi, and ratchet up the investigation into the ongoing IRS scandal.