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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

IRS budget cuts and Tea Party Patriots

Art credit:ctj.org.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, reports that

The House Appropriations Committee is set to OK an IRS budget of $10.9 billion, $1.5 billion under President Obama's request for fiscal year 2015, reducing the agency's budget to 2008 levels.
The goal is to keep the tax agency focused on its “core duties,” and eliminate efforts to judge the political activities of tax-exempt groups and brake its implementation of Obamacare.

Below are the bill highlights about the IRS:
. . . Included in the bill is $10.95 billion for the IRS – a cut of $341 million below the fiscal year 2014 enacted level and $1.5 billion below the President’s budget request. This will bring the agency’s budget below the sequester level and below the level that was in place in fiscal year 2008. This funding level is sufficient for the IRS to perform its core duties, including taxpayer services and the proper collection of funds, but will require the agency to streamline and make better use of its budget.

In addition, due to the inappropriate actions by the IRS in targeting groups that hold certain political beliefs, as well as its previous improper use of taxpayer funds, the bill includes the following provisions:

-- A prohibition on a proposed regulation related to political activities and the tax-exempt status of 501(c)(4) organizations. The proposed regulation could jeopardize the tax-exempt status of many non-profit organizations and inhibit citizens from exercising their right to freedom of speech, simply because they may be involved in political activity.

-- A prohibition on funds for bonuses or awards unless employee conduct and tax compliance is given consideration.

-- A prohibition on funds for the IRS to target groups for regulatory scrutiny based on their ideological beliefs.

-- A prohibition on funds for the IRS to target individuals for exercising their First Amendment rights.

-- A prohibition on funding for the production of inappropriate videos and conferences.

-- A prohibition on funding for the White House to order the IRS to determine the tax-exempt status of an organization.

-- A requirement for extensive reporting on IRS spending.

ObamaCare –The bill also includes provisions to stop the IRS from further implementing ObamaCare, including a prohibition on any transfers of funding from the Department of Health and Human Services to the IRS for ObamaCare uses, and a prohibition on funding for the IRS to implement an individual insurance mandate on the American people.

It's unbelievable that there would be a need for some of these prohibitions, such as the one that would prohibit funds that "target individuals for exercising their First Amendment rights". And words like “inappropriate” and “consideration” are vague and subjective, especially when the goal is to rein in lawless behavior. Who knows if the Senate will pass it. Maybe it could stall ANY funding until the IRS manages to "find" Lois Lerner's vanishing emails. But maybe the budget cut is a teeny tiny start. Anyway, you can read the rest here.

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