WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to the disturbing news that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) inappropriately targeted certain political groups for further auditing and investigation, Alaskan Congressman Don Young today cosponsored H.R. 1950, the Taxpayer Nondiscrimination and Protection Act of 2013.
“The American people deserve to know that when the IRS reviews an individual or organization’s financial documents each year, they review the financial facts and not the individual or organization’s political beliefs,” Rep. Young said. “In order to protect Alaskans and Americans across the country from any future discrimination, I cosponsored H.R. 1950, which will hold IRS employees criminally responsible for their actions. For an agency with a likability as low as the collective leadership in Washington, it remains to be seen if the nation’s trust can be rebuilt, but the legislation I cosponsored today should be the first of many actions taken to remind the agency of who they serve; the American people and not just the political party of the inhabitant of the White House.”
H.R. 1950 would make it a crime for IRS employees to target political groups and would increase the maximum penalty for discrimination from termination of service to criminal punishment. The criminal punishment would allow the federal government to impose a fine of up to $5,000 or imprisonment of up to five years, or both, which is the same maximum penalty for a member of the President's cabinet who directs an employee to take similar actions (26 U.S.C. §7217). Lastly, the Taxpayer Nondiscrimination and Protection Act expressly states that political speech and political expression are rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.
H.R. 1950, the Taxpayer Nondiscrimination and Protection Act of 2013 was introduced by Congressman Michael Turner (R-OH).