Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) on Friday blasted Republicans for attempting to use this week’s scandal at the IRS to attack and undermine Obamacare.
At a House hearing, Doggett condemned the “outrageous and inexcusable” list used by IRS staff to flag tea party applications to become social welfare nonprofits for additional review. He questioned whether Treasury inspector general J. Russell George had uncovered any fraud, abuse or corruption at the agency, but the investigator said he had found no such thing.
Doggett then launched an attack on Republicans, who had warned the new IRS’ Affordable Care Act division might discriminate against conservatives.
“It is important that in addressing and fully correcting one wrong, we not commit and be involved in other wrongs, such as encouraging the proliferation of secret corporate money, not just the proliferation and pollution of our democracy by that money, but that it be tax-subsidized secret corporate money,” he said.
“That we not permit those who have a fundamental disagreement with the progressive tax system using this incident as a basis for shifting even more of the burden of financing our defense and our central government services onto working people,” Doggett continued. “That we not permit those who have an agenda that is now been voted 37 times to try to undermine the full and effective implementation of the Affordable Health Care Act so that the health care crisis is ended for families across this country. That’s what’s at stake here, that’s what’s been discussed here.”
Doggett went on to criticize the politicization of social welfare nonprofits. The tax-exempt groups are prohibited from engaging “primarily” in political activity, but following the Citizens United ruling they became a favorite way to dump money into partisan campaigns.
“If the statute, the clear wording of the statute had been followed, we would not be having to deal today with selective enforcement, we wouldn’t have any problems with enforcement in this area at all,” he concluded.
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