May 25, 2021

Cassidy, Braun Introduce ‘Don’t Weaponize the IRS’ Act to Prevent the IRS from Being Used as a Political Weapon

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Mike Braun (R-IN) introduced a bill to prevent the IRS from being used as a political weapon against conservative non-profit groups.

“The IRS should never target an American because of his or her political beliefs,” said Dr. Cassidy. “This bill protects nonprofits and their supporters from political bullying by rogue IRS agents.”

“We saw during the Obama years that the IRS was used as a political weapon to target conservative nonprofits, and under H.R.1 the Biden IRS would be empowered to block tax-exempt status and publicly expose a group’s donors to harassment from liberal groups and the media if their beliefs are deemed to be politically unfavorable. This bill will prevent the IRS from being weaponized against conservatives like it was under President Obama,” said Senator Braun.

From 2010 to 2012, the Obama IRS spent over two years systematically targeting conservative tax-exempt groups. The previous administration released a final rule in May 2020 that prevented the IRS from targeting certain tax-exempt groups based on their political beliefs.

House Democrats’ H.R. 1 – the “For the People Act” – and Senate companion legislation S. 1 seek to repeal and undermine the 2020 rule to weaponize the IRS to target nonprofit organizations based on the applicants’ political and policy positions.

The Don’t Weaponize the IRS Act codifies the 2020 rule that protects groups regardless of their political ideology or beliefs and prevents the IRS from doxing donors to these groups.

Removing the requirement to report the names and addresses of donors helps protect taxpayers’ First Amendment rights: such information is not needed for tax administration purposes.

The bill is cosponsored by 43 Republican Senators including Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Mike Lee (R-UT), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Richard Shelby (R-AL), John Cornyn (R-TX), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), John Barrasso (R-WY), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Steve Daines (R-MT), Richard Burr (R-NC), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rick Scott (R-FL), Jim Risch (R-ID), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Joni Ernst (R-IA), James Lankford (R-OK), Jerry Moran (R-KS), James Inhofe (R-OK), Roger Wicker (R-MS), John Thune (R-SD), Todd Young (R-IN), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), John Boozman (R-AR), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Tom Cotton (R-AR), John Hoeven (R-ND), and John Kennedy (R-LA).

The bill is endorsed by the following groups:

  • American Commitment
  • Americans for Prosperity
  • Americans for Tax Reform
  • Association of Mature American Citizens
  • Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
  • Club for Growth
  • Freedom Works
  • Heritage Action for America
  • Institute for Free Speech
  • National Taxpayers Union
  • People United for Privacy