Washington, DC—Today, H.R. 2565, the STOP IRS Act, a bill introduced by U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci (OH-16), was approved by the House of Representatives with overwhelming support. A video of Rep. Renacci’s speech on the House floor and discussion with other Members of the House – as well as a transcript of the speech – can be viewed below. The bill now awaits a vote in the United States Senate.
Click the picture to watch the video
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to urge approval of H.R. 2565, the Stop Targeting Our Politics IRS Act.
Despite being introduced only one month ago, this bipartisan legislation already has over 75 co-sponsors, but also overwhelming support from the American people. This support for this legislation shows that the vast majority of Members and Americans, regardless of their party affiliation, believe the IRS should be above politics.
This is not a partisan issue. It is absolutely unacceptable for a government official to consider the political leanings of any taxpayer when conducting official business. If it is determined that a federal employee did in fact engage in targeting, they should be relieved of their duties. It is that simple.
In fact this is so common sense, in 1998, Congress enacted the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act by a vote of 402 to 8.
That legislation sought to bring accountability to the IRS by allowing for immediate termination of IRS employees who engaged in the so-called “10 Deadly Sins” against taxpayers. A large percentage of the Members here in the chamber today supported those reforms back then.
Unfortunately, while the legislation covers many offenses, it did not include political targeting. I have no doubt this was a simple oversight. I cannot imagine any Member would support a process for removing an employee for bad behavior, but somehow not consider political targeting to be bad enough.
This is exactly what my legislation would do. It would specifically spell out that any IRS employee, regardless of political affiliation, who targeted a tax payer for political purposes could be immediately relieved of their duties.
This legislation does not change any of the procedures for removing an IRS employee. It simply adds political targeting to the list of the “10 Deadly Sins” already in existence. Any statements to the contrary are simply not true.
Some have said this bill is not needed because the current investigation is still ongoing. The legislation does not, in any way, impact the current investigation. It simply says, regardless of the current situation, if you work for the IRS you cannot target taxpayers for political purposes. There should be no controversy in that.
There is currently a process in place to remove bad actors. There is currently a list of offenses that would subject an employee to that process. All I want to do is add political targeting to the list of fireable offenses.
Regardless of the outcome of this current investigation, the reputation and credibility of the IRS has been badly damaged.
The IRS needs this legislation. The entire federal government needs legislation. And most importantly, the American people need this legislation.
They need to know that they will not be targeted by their government for political purposes. They need to know that those who are entrusted with the vast power of this federal government are going to act in a responsible and professional manner, or be held accountable if they do not.