Congressman Fitzpatrick (PA-8) Wednesday signed on as a co-sponsor to legislation that aims to prevent and end the practice of political targeting by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The Stop Targeting Our Politics (STOP) IRS Act [HR 2565] -- introduced by Rep. James Renacci (R-OH) - would allow the IRS Commissioner to hold accountable those responsible for politically targeting Americans.
"A government investigation found IRS workers targeted Tea Party and other conservative groups seeking tax exempt status. In light this scandal, it is essential that this bill be enacted to rebuild the fractured trust between the taxpayers and the agency," said Fitzpatrick. "The IRS has a responsibility to the American people to treat every individual- regardless of beliefs- equally."
The STOP IRS Act builds upon the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, adding the targeting of an individual taxpayer for political purposes to the list of 10 other specific offenses which can result in termination for IRS employees.
"This bipartisan, necessary bill would add political targeting to the existing list of offenses IRS employees can be immediately fired for, ultimately closing a loophole left by previous legislation," added Fitzpatrick.
HR 2565 currently has 51, bipartisan co-sponsors and has been referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.
"The IRS targeting of law-abiding, hardworking American citizens solely because of their beliefs is shocking, regardless of which political party one supports," said Fitzpatrick. "The IRS has become a disappointing example of the intrusiveness of the federal government, and action must be taken to make sure this never happens again- at any level."