Enzi, Barrasso join fight to prevent IRS targeting, regulation of constitutional rights by government
U.S. Senators Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, both R-Wyo., today joined 36 of their Republican colleagues in introducing a bill that would preserve free speech and prevent the IRS from targeting politically aligned groups. The effort is led by Senators Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Pat Roberts, R-Kan.
The Stop Targeting of Political Beliefs by the IRS Act would protect the free-speech rights of 501(c)(4) organizations by prohibiting for one year the finalization of a proposed Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulation that would significantly limit the advocacy and educational activities of these groups. The bill would also prevent additional targeting of 501(c)(4) organizations by restoring the IRS 501(c)(4) standards and definitions that were in place before the start of the agency’s targeting of conservative groups in 2010.
“Government agencies should be blind to ideology and not used as political weapons,” said Enzi. “What the IRS did in targeting conservative groups was wrong and should not happen in this country. To then put this agency in charge of regulating constitutionally protected speech would be a step in the wrong direction and granting government more say over our lives. I won’t support that and I’m proud to join my colleagues in these efforts to prevent future abuse by government against political opponents.”