The Democrats are doubling down on their support of the IRS’s targeting of the Tea Party movement. Yesterday, they shot down amendments introduced by Senator Ted Cruz that would have both safeguarded the free speech of citizens and prevented the use of the IRS to unjustly and unlawfully target people. Given the fact that the IRS scandal is back in the news with the now retired IRS official Lois Lerner being recalled for further testimony to Congress, one would think that there would be cooperation to protect Americans from the president using the IRS or any government agency to attack those he deems political enemies.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) is on the record as saying that he believes that Lerner connects the scandal all the way to Washington. That may be the reason that Lerner initially pled the Fifth after making a statement that ‘she had done nothing wrong’. The tactics may have made some local tea parties decide against forming or against attempting to get 501c4 status, but overall, the movement is still going strong. In fact, the Tea Party movement celebrated its five-year anniversary this month and has gone from simply holding rallies to truly effecting change within the halls of Congress.
The fact that the Tea Party fighters for freedom and the Constitution simply won’t go away has the ire of some Democrats who are now calling for Barack Obama to sign executive orders to put a 5 to 10% cap on the amount of political activity that 501c4s can engage in.
The Hill reports that Democrats do not see their proposal as a violation of free speech.
“You will undoubtedly receive complaints from certain corners that these proposed rules will infringe on First Amendment speech rights,” Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and the other senators wrote to the Treasury Department and the IRS.
“Such complaints are without merit: these rules would not restrict anyone’s right to speak, or to spend money to influence elections,” the senators added. “If implemented properly, the rules will only close a loophole that has until now allowed donors to evade campaign finance law disclosure requirements.”
This continued attack by the Democrats comes not only as there are ongoing hearings regarding the IRS targeting, harassment, and intimidation of Tea Party groups, but also comes three months after Obama’s proposal to change definitions in the tax code as a method to shut down political opposition by conservative 501c4 groups.
The group of Democrats standing against free speech and supporting the targeting of those who are against a big government, progressive agenda are Sens. Charles Schumer (NY), Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), Patrick Leahy (VT), Tom Harkin (IA), Jack Reed (RI.), Tom Carper (DE.), Robert Menendez (NJ.), Jon Tester (MT), Tom Udall (NM), Chris Coons (DE), Richard Blumenthal (CT), Mazie Hirono (HI), Martin Heinrich (NM) and Elizabeth Warren (MS). Joining them is Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent, from Vermont.
This is not the first time that Chuck Schumer has encouraged the weaponzation of the IRS against Tea Party groups. In January, TPNN reported that while delivering a speech to the far left progressive group Center for American Progress, Schumer ‘called for President Obama to use executive orders through the IRS in order to ‘curtail’ Tea Party activities and weaken the movement.”