Charles Boustany

Another IRS scandal: One in 10 Tea Party donors were audited by the tax agency

In  light of the recent vote held by the Republican-led House to hold Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress, new evidence suggests that conservative groups that were targeted by the IRS division entrusted with organizations that have tax exempt status, had 10 percent of the names from their donors’ lists audited. The percentage represents a much higher rate within targeted groups, especially when compared to how often average Americans are audited.

The House voted on Wednesday to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress. House Republicans insist that that the former IRS director only invoked her constitutional right after she declared her innocence to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Because new revelations pertaining to this case saw the light of day, Republicans were the first to jump at the new information.

According to the documents, nearly one in every 10 tea party donors were subject to audits after groups were forced to turn in their lists of donors, a rate that is suspiciously higher than the average 1 percent audit rate for the general public.

While the IRS maintained that it never targeted conservative or liberty-minded groups at the beginning of the investigation, the agency finally came clean, at least enough to admit that its agents were in fact singling out conservative or libertarian groups.

House Democrat wants repeal of ObamaCare’s employer mandate

John Barrow

Rep. John Barrow (D-GA) says that the administration’s delay of ObamaCare’s employer mandate is not enough and that Congress needs to fully repeal of the onerous provision.

In speech yesterday from the House floor, Barrow urged leadership bring H.R. 903 — the American Job Protection Act, legislation sponsored by Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA) — up for a vote before the chamber.

“Just over a week ago, the Administration announced a one-year delay of the employer mandate in the Affordable Care Act.  While a temporary delay is a good thing for businesses, a full repeal would be even better,” said Barrow. “Businesses in my district in Georgia have made very clear that the employer mandate would prevent them from expanding their businesses or hiring workers.  One of the main reasons I voted against this law in the first place was because too many job creators in my district simply can’t afford the costs of the employer mandate under the Affordable Care Act.”

“We can fix this, however. I’m proud to be leading the effort to fully repeal the employer mandate, along with two of my colleagues from across the aisle. We know that this can be fixed, and we’ve got the bipartisan legislation to do it,” he added. “I urge my colleagues to swiftly bring up the full repeal of the employer mandate and make this delay permanent, so businesses across the country can get back to creating the jobs we need.”

The mandate would cost employers $150 billion over the next 11 years, according to information provided on Barrow’s House website, and lead to a loss of more than 3 million jobs.

Majority of House co-sponsors ObamaCare tax repeal

 A Hard Pill to Swallow

Undeterred by President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats resistance to revisit healthcare reform, the House of Representatives is still pushing to make changes to ObamaCare that could help lower insurance premiums and costs for Americans.

The latest effort is legislation sponsored by Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA) to repeal the tax on health insurance plans, one of the 20 new taxes or tax hikes that were included in ObamaCare. The Hill notes that the legislation, H.R. 763, has received the backing of a majority of the House:

The bill would repeal a new tax on health insurance plans, which is expected to raise roughly $100 billion over the next 10 years. Insurers and small businesses strongly oppose the tax, saying it will drive up premiums.
It’s not especially surprising for a majority of the GOP-led House to support repealing the tax. The House has passed bills to repeal the entire healthcare law and to repeal or defund myriad individual provisions.

Still, hitting 218 cosponsors is a key benchmark for the law’s critics.

“This largely symbolic yet important benchmark for repealing the health insurer fee shows the level of bipartisan support in Congress to do away with this misguided policy,” said Joe Moser, interim executive director of the Medicaid Health Plans of America.

According to GovTrack, the legislation now has 221 co-sponsors, including six House Democrats.

Did the Former IRS Chief Lie About Tea Party Targeting?

Douglas Shulman

Former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman has some explaining to do, though whether Tea Party and conservative groups targeted by the agency during his tenure will get any answers remains to be seen.

In a March 2012 appearance before the appearance before the House Ways and Means Committee, Shulman was asked about the allegations by Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA).

“We’ve seen some recent press allegations that the IRS is targeting certain Tea Party groups across the country — requesting owners’ documents requests, delaying approval for tax-exempt status and that kind of thing,” noted Boustany. “Can you elaborate on what’s going on with that? Can you give us assurances that the IRS is not targeting particular groups based on political leanings?”

Shulman didn’t beat around the bush in his response. He explicitly denied that the IRS was targeting specific groups.

“[L]et me start by saying, yes, I can give you assurances,” Shulman said in response. “As you know, we pride ourselves on being a non-political, non-partisan organization. I am the only — me and our chief counsel — are the only presidential appointees, and I have a five-year term that runs through presidential elections, just so we will have none of that kind of political intervention in things that we do.”

Shulman essentially blamed the organizations. He claimed that those complaining about targeting by the IRS were were in the “application process” and had come to the agency “voluntarily.”

FreedomWorks releases first House endorsements for 2012

The upcoming primaries are going to be just as important as the general election. Voters in many congressional districts will have to choose between “business as usual” or for candidates that will shake up the status quo. FreedomWorks PAC has been on the frontlines of this battle. And yesterday, they released the first round of endorsements for House candidates in the upcoming election:

After a year of intensive research, countless candidate interviews, and input from thousands of FreedomWorks activists, including many in these districts, FreedomWorks PAC is pleased to endorse its first slate of candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives.

Each of these candidates is a clear choice for those who want to rein in the government’s reckless spending and out-of-control growth.

  • Florida 22nd: Adam Hasner
  • Georgia 9th: Martha Zoller
  • Illinois 8th: Rep. Joe Walsh
  • Indiana 2nd: Jackie Walorski
  • Indiana 5th: David McIntosh
  • Iowa 4th: Rep. Steve King
  • Kentucky 6th: Andy Barr
  • Louisiana 3rd: Rep. Jeff Landry
  • Missouri 2nd: Ann Wagner
  • Pennsylvania 12th: Keith Rothfus

FreedomWorks PAC Executive Director Max Pappas commented, “Through extensive personal interviews, detailed research of their records, and feedback from activists in their districts, we are confident these candidates will expand the freedom caucus in the House and lead the fight for economic freedom and constitutionally limited government.”

Existing House endorsements for FreedomWorks PAC include Evan Feinberg (Pennsylvania 18th) and Rep. Don Manzullo (Illinois 16th).

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