By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Wednesday June 15, US Representative Mike Rogers (R-Saks) supported HR5053, the Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act. Congressman Rogers released a statement after the bill passed the House of Representatives, with his strong support.
Rep. Rogers said, “This legislation is a common sense approach in preventing the IRS from targeting non-profit groups based on their beliefs and I was pleased to support it.”
According to Rogers, this legislation would prevent the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from collecting donor lists, including names and addresses from many non-profit organizations. The IRS has used donor information to target conservative non-profit groups for abusive audits and investigations. The IRS will still be able to enforce tax laws without targeting taxpayers or organizations based on their political views.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) said, “Last week, we finally received a full list of conservative organizations unfairly targeted by the IRS for their political beliefs. The news, which came nearly three years after the scandal broke, was a stark reminder of this powerful agency’s abuse of hardworking taxpayers. We’ve already enacted several pieces of bipartisan legislation to rein in the IRS this Congress alone, but our work is far from over.”
Speaker Ryan said that, “HR5053, the Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act, to do away with another tool that the IRS has used for political purposes. This bill, authored by Ways and Means Oversight Chairman Peter Roskam (R-IL), eliminates the Schedule B form—a portion of Form 990, the annual return that most non-profits are required to file. This form requires non-profit groups to report the names of anyone who contributes more than $5,000.”
Ryan said, “Although federal law prohibits the IRS from releasing Schedule Bs, in the past this information has been exploited to target conservatives. Ahead of the 2012 presidential election, the agency improperly released the National Organization of Marriage’s (NOM) un-redacted Schedule B form, which revealed a contribution from a pro-Mitt Romney group. The IRS was eventually ordered to pay NOM $50,000 in damages for releasing this confidential information.”
Congressman Mike Rogers represents Alabama’s Third Congressional District.