Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04) announced today that he is introducing legislation that would prohibit a massive expansion of the Internal Revenue Service at a time when many Americans are calling into question the integrity of what should be a non-partisan, non-political government agency. The Prevent IRS Overreach Act would prohibit the IRS from hiring any personnel for the purpose of implementing the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The bill introduction comes on the heels of confirmation that the IRS has purposely targeted applicants for tax-exempt status for having "Tea Party" or "Patriot" in their names -- demanding confidential donor lists and delaying applications in many cases for years.
"Americans have witnessed egregious political bullying at the hands of IRS agents -- bullying that senior leadership of the IRS have been aware of for two years. Under current law, the authority to implement the President's healthcare tax rests with the very people who used their government positions to act as political operatives working to influence the electoral process. I'm introducing legislation today to prevent the IRS from being handed their newest bludgeon to target businesses and individuals that do not come in line with their political philosophy or policy positions. The IRS would be better to police its own than to police the millions of Americans who believe this healthcare law to be bad for their families and bad for our businesses," Forbes said.
The scandal-plagued agency has publicly admitted that it wrongfully subjected tax-exempt groups with conservative leaning ideologies to intense and unnecessary scrutiny, targeting groups in some cases simply for purposes such as "Educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights." The IRS is now the subject of a federal criminal investigation to determine whether agents knowingly and willfully violated the law by using their official positions to tamper with election processes. Congressman Forbes' "Prevent IRS Overreach Act" is a necessary step towards reining in an overtly intrusive government which has once again failed to hold itself accountable.