Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA), a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, delivered remarks at today's full committee hearing on the ongoing Internal Revenue Service (IRS) discrimination scandal in praise of the victims in attendance for sharing their stories with the American public. Rep. Kelly also used the occasion to condemn the IRS for fostering a culture of "government-sponsored fear."
Highlights from Rep. Kelly's remarks:
"There is something wrong here. This is truly a David vs. Goliath. I thank you for coming here today, and I hope by your appearing here today that you've encouraged other people throughout the country to come forward. You do not have to be afraid of this government. The fear only exists if you allow it to continue. Don't let that happen to you."
"This is not being chilling. The American people are frozen with fear. We have gone far beyond being chilling. We have exceeded -- we have gone way over -- what this government is supposed to be able to do."
"Isn't it incredible what you're going through to maintain your First Amendment rights? This is not a problem that's in Cincinnati -- this is a problem that's deep in the bowels of this government."
"If at some point we cannot stop this culture of fear -- this government-sponsored fear -- then we are really coming up short on what the oath is that we took. We took an oath of office not to defend the rights of Republicans, or Democrats, or Libertarians We took an oath to defend our Constitution."
"I really applaud you for what you're doing today. Do not give up on this. Stay the course, do not give up, and please spread the word to the rest of the American public: "Do not be afraid of this government.' It is only when we fear the government that we lose. This is a government that is supposed to serve the people -- the people are not supposed to serve it. So keep up the fight. We're with you. And we've got your back."