Romney Joins Braun, Colleagues in Bill to Prevent IRS from Being Used as Political Weapon

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) today joined Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) and Senators Rick Scott (R-FL), Todd Young (R-IN), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Jerry Moran (R-KS), and Jim Risch (R-ID) in re-introducing a bill to prevent the IRS from being used as a political weapon against conservative non-profit groups.

From 2010 to 2012, the Obama IRS spent over two years systematically targeting conservative tax-exempt groups. The Trump Administration released a final rule in May 2020 that prevented the IRS from targeting certain tax-exempt groups based on their political beliefs. The Don’t Weaponize the IRS Act codifies the Trump rule that protects groups regardless of their political ideology or beliefs and prevents the IRS from doxing donors to these groups. The senators first introduced the Don’t Weaponize the IRS Act last Congress.

The bill’s reintroduction comes as the IRS’s impartiality is being questioned for visiting the home of journalist Matt Taibbi—whose reporting revealed collaboration between the federal government and social media companies such as Twitter to censor inconvenient information and counter-narrative news stories—while he was testifying at the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government. Removing the requirement to report the names and addresses of donors helps protect taxpayers’ First Amendment rights: such information is not needed for tax administration purposes.

“Too often over the last decade, the IRS has been used for political means,” said Senator Romney. “This legislation will prevent the IRS from targeting Americans—because of their presumed political or religious beliefs—in the future.”

“We saw during the Obama years how the IRS is used as a political weapon to target dissenters, and now President Biden has supercharged the IRS with an extra $80 billion dollars,” Senator Braun said. “This bill will prevent the IRS from being weaponized against Americans for ideological reasons.”

“We need to protect the First Amendment rights of all Americans,” said Senator Young. “Our bill will help ensure the IRS cannot target individuals based on their political beliefs.”

“The IRS should never expose taxpayers’ private information because of their political ideology,” said Senator Risch. “The Don’t Weaponize the IRS Act will prevent the Biden administration’s IRS agents from targeting Americans regardless of their political leanings.”

“The IRS should do its work impartially and without political bias,” said Senator Moran. “This legislation will help prevent the IRS from unfairly targeting groups with conservative beliefs, especially in light of the Biden administration’s plan to spend billions of dollars to hire thousands of additional IRS employees.”