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Rep. Miller Votes to Prevent IRS from Limiting Free Political Speech


Location: Washington, DC

Today, U.S. Representative Candice Miller (MI-10) issued the following statement after House passage of the Stop Targeting of Political Beliefs by the IRS Act (H.R. 3865), which will delay the IRS from implementing its proposed regulations on 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations:

"Throughout its history, there have been times when those in power have used the IRS to target, intimidate and harass political enemies. Most recently, the IRS under Lois Lerner, admitted to targeting conservative organizations by flagging and delaying their applications for 501(c)(4) status.

"This incident, currently under congressional investigation, serves as a sobering reminder of the impact unchecked federal bureaucracies can have on Americans' constitutionally-protected rights -- in this case, the right to free speech.

"Sadly, instead of waiting until the conclusion of the congressional investigation, the IRS has proposed going a step further in the wrong direction by tapping no other than Lois Lerner, who pleaded the Fifth before congressional investigators, to draft new regulations that would empower the IRS to further restrict the free speech of social welfare organizations.

"These new proposed regulations, which would severely limit important outreach activities like candidate forums on community issues and voter registration drives, don't just target conservative organizations, they threaten the free speech of all organizations regardless of political ideology.

"I agree that the IRS needs reform, but not the kind that empowers them to limit speech and certainly not before Congress has the opportunity to complete its investigation.

"When I took the oath of office, I pledged to uphold the Constitution, which means protecting free speech even when I may disagree with the content of that free speech. Our first amendment rights should never be abridged, especially by the federal government."

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