Congressman Mike Turner Talks IRS Scandal on FOX Business
May 22, 2013
No matter which party controls the White House, taxpayers deserve to be treated fairly. As we saw just last week, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has failed to act in a fair, nonpartisan, and nondiscriminatory manner. In targeting an individual or group for audits and investigation on the basis of their beliefs -- and not a legitimate tax-related purpose -- the IRS has weakened its level of trust among both the American public and Congress. That is why I have introduced H.R. 1950, the Taxpayer Nondiscrimination and Protection Act of 2013.
This bill, aimed at preventing this type of biased, politically-motivated discrimination, seeks to strengthen taxpayer protections in current law by making it a crime for IRS employees to execute the sort of targeted discrimination revealed by the IRS last week. This bill would take the important step of increasing the maximum penalty for discrimination from mere termination to a criminal punishment.
The criminal punishment would allow the federal government to impose a fine, up to five years imprisonment, or both - which is identical to the maximum imprisonment for a member of the President's cabinet who directs an employee to take that sort of action (26 U.S.C. §7217). Moreover, the Taxpayer Nondiscrimination and Protection Act expressly states that political speech and political expression are rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.
Fairness is neither partisan, nor political. And the Taxpayer Nondiscrimination and Protection Act seeks to restore those concepts of fairness to the federal government's tax collectors, so that no individual or group is so wrongly discriminated against in the future.