Issa and Jordan to IRS Commissioner: Withdraw IRS Political Speech Rule

Published: Feb 4, 2014

WASHINGTON – House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Regulatory Affairs Subcommittee Chairman Jim Jordan today requested that Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen withdraw a proposed regulation limiting political speech by nonprofit organizations. The Committee’s investigation into the IRS’s targeting of conservative-tax exempt applicants has raised serious flaws and concerns about the process and substance of the proposed rule.

“The proposed regulation is intended to clarify the tax-exemption determinations process and resolve problems identified in a Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) audit report. It does not,” wrote Chairman Issa and Chairman Jordan. “As written, the Administration’s proposed rule will stifle the speech of social welfare organizations and will codify and systemize targeting of organizations whose views are at odds with those of the Administration.  In addition to these substantive concerns, we also have serious concerns about the process by which the Administration promulgated this rule.”

Concerns include the following, detailed in the letter:

  • The proposed rule codifies the Obama Administration’s earlier attempts to stifle political speech.
  • The proposed rule improperly applies Federal Election Commission standards to tax-exempt organizations.
  • The IRS’s efforts to develop new restrictions on political speech for non-profit groups, led by Lois Lerner and the IRS chief counsel’s office, began long before the TIGTA audit was released.
  • The proposed regulation will needlessly harm social welfare organizations.


Read today’s letter here.

Read November 26th statement on proposed rule here.

Read the September 17th interim report here.

Read March 27th 2012 letter to Lois Lerner here.

Read May 29th Memo from Leader Cantor, Chairman Camp and Chairman Issa here.

Read July 17th 2012 letter to Daniel Werfel here.