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February 12, 2014

GOP Senators Push Bill to Delay New IRS Rule on 501(c)(4)s

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has signed on to legislation introduced by Republican colleagues to push back implementation of Internal Revenue Service restrictions on political activity by "social welfare" nonprofits, reports Politico.

The measure sponsored by GOP Sens. Jeff Flake and Pat Roberts would clamp a one-year delay on the proposed rule change, which would more specifically define what constitutes impermissible electioneering by 501(c)(4) organizations. Such groups, which are not required to disclose donors, spent hundreds of millions of dollars during the 2012 election cycle, mostly on behalf of conservative candidates and causes.

Republican leaders in the House have pledged to move quickly on a similar bill by Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp. Republicans contend the rule proposed by the Treasury Department last fall would chill free speech by nonprofit organizations.