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February 07, 2014

GOP Leaders Call on IRS to Drop Nonprofit-Politicking Reform

In a letter to Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen, congressional Republicans urged the agency to scrap proposed new restrictions on electioneering by tax-exempt "social welfare" groups, Bloomberg reports.

The missive—signed by House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and the top Republicans on committees with IRS oversight—says the rule limiting 501(c)(4) organizations' campaign spending is "an affront to free speech" and "would make intimidation and harassment of the administration's political opponents the official policy of the IRS."

Such groups, which are not required to disclose donors, spent about $310-million during the 2012 election cycle, about 85 percent of it from Republican-aligned groups, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The new rule proposed by administration in November would set more defined guidelines on permissible political activity by 501(c)(4) entities.

Mr. Koskinen said this week that the IRS is unlikely to withdraw the proposed changes, according to Bloomberg BNA.