Top Republican House leaders detonate IRS Texas prayer group denial of tax exemption as open attack on religious freedom and the continuation of the targeting scandal that plagued the federal tax agency during the Obama era. Democratic leaders have remained silent.
House Minority Leader Kevin mccarthy (R-Calif.) Told The Epoch Times on June 22 that “the language of the IRS ruling suggests the return of a disturbing trend of politicized targeting by the IRS. This politicization treats Americans unfairly, not only by disrupting equal application of the law, but also by undermining public confidence in government. “
And Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), The top GOP member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, told The Epoch Times that “the IRS under the Biden-Harris administration does not prepare nothing and appears to be abusing his vast powers for political ends.
McCarthy and Comer were referring to IRS ruling first reported June 16 by The Epoch Times in which a Texas group was denied the tax exemption because its emphasis on prayer and Bible study would primarily benefit Republicans.
“You are not considered to be an organization described in section 501 (c) (3) of the IRS. You are engaging in prohibited political campaign intervention, ”Stephen A. Martin, director of the IRS Office of Exempt Organizations Rulings and Agreements, wrote in a May 18 letter to Committed Christians, the Garland, Texas-based prayer group recognized by Texas officials as tax-exempt.
“You are also not exploited exclusively for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of Article 501 (c) (3), because you are operating for substantial non-exempt private purposes and for the private interests of the company. [Republican] party, ”continued Martin.
Comer doesn’t buy Martin’s explanation for his decision.
“Following a massive leak of sensitive taxpayer information targeting high net worth individuals, the IRS is now denying tax-exempt status to a religious organization because their beliefs can potentially influence their political views,” said Comer, referring to the recent tax information leak on hundreds of people. from America’s richest citizens to Pro Publica, a website dedicated to investigative journalism.
“This attack on religious freedom must be stopped and investigated. No federal bureaucrat should be able to wield such massive power and ignore government regulations to target an organization based on its religious beliefs, ”Comer said.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the GOP’s rank member of the House Judiciary Committee, agreed, saying the agency’s actions in the Texas case continue a pattern of abusive targeting of nonprofit candidates. Tea Party, conservatives and evangelicals who led to the Lois Lerner scandal which made headlines in 2013.
“The Obama / Biden IRS has targeted conservatives for their political beliefs. It looks like the Biden / Harris IRS is already doing nothing right. Every American should be concerned, but sadly not surprised, ”Jordan told The Epoch Times on Tuesday.
The oversight committee investigated the Lerner scandal, as did the judicial panel. The two committees would be at the center of any further Congressional investigation into the IRS’s decision to deny a nonprofit tax exemption request on grounds like those Martin cited to Christians Engaged.
Leading House Democrats declined to respond to Epoch Times’ request for comment, including the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi of California, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland, Oversight President Carolyn Maloney of New York and Judicial President Jerrod Nadler, also of New York.
McCarthy said the new IRS scandal comes as President Joe Biden plans to add 87,000 new employees to the agency and dramatically increase its power.
Unfortunately, the Biden administration’s plan to double the size of the IRS, give it an unprecedented extension of the power to access the bank accounts of all Americans, and exempt it from congressional oversight will not do “Subjecting Americans to more harassment and abuse from political agents posing as public servants. The IRS should not have more power than it already has,” McCarthy said.
Call for inquiry
Patrimonial action for America Executive Director Jessica Anderson told The Epoch Times on Tuesday it was time for another IRS investigation.
“The IRS is wrong to inject politics into its decision to deny tax-exempt status to a Christian organization. This is absolutely unacceptable, ”Anderson said.
“It is sad to see Biden’s IRS following in the footsteps of the Obama administration, discriminating against religious organizations and denying the tax exemption for political reasons. The decision to deny engaged Christians tax-exempt status must be investigated immediately, ”she said.
Other conservative activists have shown no hesitation about the IRS.
Like Comer, Americans for tax reform (ATR) President Grover Norquist noted the leaked tax records to Pro Publica.
“Recent Illegal ‘Leak’ of IRS Tax Returns to Left-Wing Organization, Pro Publica, Will Make America Less Likely to Tolerate Biden’s Plan to Pay $ 80 Billion and 87,000 New Employees to an IRS unrepentant and unreformed, ”says Norquist.
“Why give more power to a unionized IRS bureaucracy whose union gives 97 percent of its contributions to one party: the Democrats,” he asked.
Likewise, Alliance for the Protection of Taxpayers (TPA) President David Williams told The Epoch Times that “what the IRS has done to this group is outrageous and unacceptable. From the illegal disclosure of private tax information to this new revelation, the IRS has once again become an activist agency that cannot be trusted. Congress must end the politicization of the IRS immediately.
Williams also said: “It is mind-boggling to think that it took the Biden administration less than six months to arm the IRS against the Tories, just as they did with Lois Lerner in the Obama administration.” .
Richard Manning, President of Americans for limited government (ALG), told The Epoch Times he wondered if the silence of progressive political and religious leaders about the IRS decision indicated approval.
“The IRS has ruled that the infallible Word of God is partisan and benefits Republicans. I look forward to the outcry from the new left “evangelicals” for the Bible, ”Manning said.
“Their silence would be a deal with the IRS that Republican ideology is closer to how Jesus would vote than theirs. It is time for the left to claim the Bible or agree with the IRS that it has given up on it, ”he said.
Less government President Seton Motley joked that “Democrats also have a standing invitation to worship God. It is not the fault of this group that so few accept it.
Motley also asked, “If worshiping God means ‘Republican,’ who do Democrats worship?