Congresswoman Martha Roby

Representing the 2nd District of Alabama

VIDEO: "The IRS is at it again"

February 26, 2014
Press Release

U.S. Representative Martha Roby (R-AL) is speaking out against new, aggressive regulations proposed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that seek to stifle the free speech of organizations. 

Despite the IRS being caught red-handed targeting conservative groups last year, the Obama Administration is trying to implement rules that would suddenly and unfairly restrict the political speech of advocacy groups. Conservatives and liberals alike are opposing the new rules, and Congress today will vote on a measure aimed to stop the rules from taking effect. 

"No matter your politics or ideology, all Americans reject the suppression of free speech by the government," Rep. Roby said in a video released Wednesday. Rep. Roby took the Obama Administration to task for attempting to "institutionalize the outrageous behavior that led to the IRS scandal."

"Let’s not forget: in this country, the government works for the people, not the other way around." 

The House will vote Wednesday on H.R. 3865, the Stop Targeting of Political Beliefs by the IRS Act of 2014. The bill would prohibit the Secretary of the Treasury from finalizing new regulations on 501(c)(4) organizations until the Congressional investigation into the IRS scandal is complete and the report from the Inspector General is released.

The Stop Targeting of Political Beliefs by the IRS Act is part of "Stop Government Abuse Week," a House-led effort to hold the government accountable for abuses and executive overreaches. Other bills include:

  • H.R. 899 - Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act of 2013,
  • H.R. 2122 - Regulatory Accountability Act of 2013,
  • H.R. 1493 - Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act of 2013,
  • H.R. 2542 - Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act,
  • H.R. 2804 - ALERT Act,
  • H.R. 1211 - FOIA Act,
  • H.R. 1232 - Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act,
  • H.R. 1423 - Taxpayers Right-To-Know Act,
  • H.R. 3308 - Taxpayer Transparency Act of 2013,
  • H.R. 1944 - Private Property Rights Protection Act of 2013,
  • H.R. 1123 - Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act,
  • H.R. 2530 - Taxpayer Transparency and Efficient Audit Act, and
  • H.R. 2531 - Protecting Taxpayers from Intrusive IRS Requests Act.

A full transcript of Rep. Roby's comments is below. 

Remember when it was revealed that the IRS had improperly targeted certain groups based on their political beliefs? Even a group from Wetumpka was unfairly singled out simply because of their views.

It was outrageous and downright un-American, yet the IRS is at it again. They are trying to push through new tax regulations changing the rules for what 501 C 4 groups can say and do.

In other words, the IRS is attempting to limit the free speech of groups that organize in order to petition their     government.

No matter your politics or ideology, all Americans reject the suppression of free speech by the government. It’s the very principle enshrined in the First Amendment to the Constitution.

That’s why conservatives and liberals alike are speaking out against the IRS’s attempt to stifle free speech. And that’s why we are taking action this week in Congress to put a stop to it.

The House will take up the Stop Targeting of Political Beliefs by the IRS Act, which would prohibit the Secretary of the Treasury from finalizing these new regulations until the House has completed its investigation into the IRS scandal and the Inspector General releases its final report.

This bill is just one of several on tap this week aimed to protect Americans from abuses and overreaches by aggressive federal agencies. We’re calling it “Stop Government Abuse Week” in the House of Representatives.

I’ve had many constituents – including several small business owners – tell me they are afraid to speak out about their grievances with the government for fear of selective targeting by the IRS. What a chilling reminder of the consequences of an aggressive federal government abusing its power. Americans must be able to voice their political and religious views without fear of reprisal from the government.

Let’s not forget: in this country, the government works for the people, not the other way around.