HOME > NEWSROOM > ARTICLES > Republican Leaders Rail Against IRS Non-Profit Proposal

Republican Leaders Rail Against IRS Non-Profit Proposal

As Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen sat before members of the House Ways and Means Committee this week, hot on the agenda was a proposed IRS rulemaking that would restrict the activities of certain tax-exempt groups in the same class as those that were victims in the IRS targeting controversy last year.

In his prepared remarks, Commissioner Koskinen, who took over leadership of the IRS in December, stated, “Another priority for our agency is to put to rest all of the issues and concerns surrounding applications for tax-exempt status. Taxpayers need to be confident that the IRS will treat them fairly, no matter what their background or their affiliations. Public trust is the IRS’ most important and valuable asset.” Regarding the political and social welfare activities of 501 (c)(4) organizations, he highlighted the importance of clarity both for IRS enforcement and the relevant organizations’ own administrative purposes.  He also noted, “The proposed guidance also seeks comments regarding whether standards similar to those that have been proposed should be adopted to define the political activities that do not further the tax-exempt purposes of other tax-exempt organizations and to promote consistent definitions across the tax-exempt sector.”

However, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI), highlighting the continuing investigation of last year’s IRS targeting scandal, declared: “I want to be perfectly clear – this Committee will fight any and all efforts to restrict the rights of groups to organize, speak-out and educate the public, just as unions are allowed to do so…. I believe the IRS has a long way to go in restoring its credibility.  But, you can take a first step by complying with this Committee’s request and stopping all action against 501(c)(4) groups until the appropriate investigations are completed.” Chairman Camp last month introduced legislation to block this IRS rulemaking proceeding.

Senior Republican leaders in both the House and Senate, including House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), co-authored a letter expressing similar alarm at the IRS rulemaking. Urging abandonment of the proceeding, they stated, “This proposed rule is an affront to free speech itself. It poses a serious and undeniable threat to the ability of ordinary Americans to freely participate in the democratic process.”

  • Watch this week’s House Ways and Means Committee hearing here.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: February 7, 2014

Latest News

National Religious Broadcasters Marks 70th Anniversary

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the National Religious Broadcasters, which was established with the focus of defending and expanding access to electronic media platforms for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

FCC Chairman Engages on Future of Broadcasting

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler offered his thoughts this week on what the future of broadcasting could...

Supreme Court Turns Down First Amendment Case

The U.S. Supreme Court this week decided not to take up Elane Photography v. Willock, a case in which a professional photographer...

Nearly Half of House Publicly Oppose Performance Tax

Nearly half of all Members of Congress in the U.S. House of Representatives now publicly support the Local Radio Freedom Act...

NRB Chairman Bill Blount Meets, Greets NAB Leaders

Newly elected NRB Chairman Bill Blount had the opportunity this week to meet and speak briefly with the President and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters as well as its Chairman.

Cornerstone Network Celebrates 35 Years of Broadcasting

Cornerstone Network will mark its 35th anniversary on Tuesday, April 15, and plans to celebrate its history and future with an array of activities, including an on-air celebration, the release of a new book, and the launch of new television programs.

Irreplaceable: Focus on the Family's First-Ever Movie Event on May 6

Irreplaceable, one of the largest initiatives that Focus on the Family has ever undertaken, will be presented one night only in more than 700 select movie theaters around the country.

In Memoriam: Norma Pederson, Wife of Reach Beyond President Wayne Pederson

Norma Pederson, the wife of Reach Beyond President Wayne Pederson, passed away Thursday, April 3, after a yearlong battle with cancer.

Walking with the Enemy: Mark Schmidt Adapts True Decades-Old Story from Nazi-Occupied Hungary

Last week, the Rev. Mark Jenkins, NRB President's Council Member and Minister of Media at Grove Avenue Baptist Church in Richmond, VA, invited several NRB staff to attend a screening of Director Mark Schmidt's Walking with the Enemy, produced by Liberty Studios.

CIN Study Highlighted at Senate Hearing

Following up on a hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, members of the Senate Commerce Committee began their review of the...

More News