Live Blog: Tea Party's IRS, Immigration Rallies
Rep. Steve King is holding a six-hour press conference on immigration on the east lawn of the Capitol. Despite the early start on a day in the middle of the week, a couple hundred activists attended the beginning of the event. It is a sign of growing anxiety in the grass-roots over the Senate amnesty legislation.
"Border security, Rule of Law Members of Congress are unlikely to get a full debate inside the halls of Congress," King said. "So we are taking the debate outside it's halls."
Thousands of Americans will also arrive in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday for a mass "Audit the IRS"
rally to protest the IRS's targeting of Tea Party and conservative groups. The Tea Party Patriots, a group targeted by the IRS, organized the rally.
Tea Partiers and conservatives who were targeted will speak at the rally along with prominent conservative legislators like Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Lee (R-UT) and Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Michele Bachmann (R-MN). Breitbart News executive chairman Stephen K. Bannon and Breitbart's Sonnie Johnson will also speak at the rally.
Conservative talk-radio host Glenn Beck will speak at both events.
Breitbart News will live-blog all of the events.
Breitbart News investigative reporter Matthew Boyle (@MBoyle1) is at King's immigration press conference. Kerry Picket (@KerryPicket) and Editor Mike Flynn (@Flynn1776) will also be reporting from the events throughout the day.
UPDATE (4 p.m. EDT): BREITBART'S MATT BOYLE REPORTS THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA DO NOT LOOK HAPPY BECAUSE THE TEA PARTY IS BACK
From Breitbart's Boyle:
The press conference turned-anti-amnesty rally is still going on the opposite side of Capitol Hill from the IRS rally. Members of Congress speaking include Reps. King, Gohmert, Rob Bishop (R-UT), Ted Yoho (R-FL), Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) and many many more.
UPDATE (3:50 p.m. EDT)
A member of the Italian Tea Party movingly spoke about how the world has looked to America for guidance and that is why, after speaking to Jenny Beth Martin, he helped organize the Italian Tea Party.
"We feel like Americas not because we are citizens but because we are free," he said.
He said the world is now looking at how Americans deal with attacks on their liberties by their federal government.
He said America has always been "something more" than a nation and "freedom is worth dying for and freedom is worth living and fighting for."
He said since 1776, America has told the world that the oceans were worth crossing so people can "be free" to "pursue dreams."
UPDATE (3:45 p.m. EDT)
Anita Moncrief, the ACORN whistle-blower, who is now a part of True the Vote, said she stood proudly with the group and that the IRS targeted the organization and its founder because they were effective in pushing for true and fair elections.
She noted the group's recent success in uncovering bloated voting rolls in Maryland.
"We will not take this standing down," he said.
UPDATE (3:30 p.m. EDT):
Katrina Pierson, of the Dallas Tea Party, said if believing in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is considered "extreme" by the Washington establishment, then "put me down as a radical extremist."
"Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue," Pierson said. She said the government had "no business whatsoever" demanding "who your members are and who you're talking to."
Pierson was one of the fiercest grassroots volunteers for Ted Cruz's Senate campaign in 2010 in Texas.
Update (3:20 p.m. EDT):
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) spoke about the "IRS Anti-Abuse Act" he has introduced that would make it illegal for the IRS to target Americans. He said it would make it illegal and a firing offense.
"This is about right versus wrong," Gosar said. "I'm not running from the right, I'm running to the fight."
He said he and other Reps. will have a "Field Hearing" in Prescott, Arizona on July 1st to enable citizens to "take back this government."
UPDATE (3:15 p.m. EDT): BREITBART'S Sonnie Johnson electrifies "Audit the IRS" Rally
Breitbart's Sonnie Johnson said she does not want to save the America she grew up in because her America was "Democrats, skin color, and gender."
She said her America wasn't "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Instead, it was "public housing, first of the month" and "poverty, death, and destruction."
"My America was the first American generation to experience socialism on America's shores," she said.
She said she wants to "utterly destroy that America."
"I want to for the first time in my life see the America that our founders promised," Johnson said.
She then led the crowd in prayer.
"What is more wicked than this government?" she said. "I'll see you in 2014."
UPDATE (3:10 p.m. EDT):
Lisa Miller, of the D.C. Tea Party, said Tea Party opponents in the federal government "fight dirty" and "use our money against us." She said they want to "make us wage slaves," and it is time for everyone to research candidates and elected officials, call them out on their deceptions and "find courageous people to replace them."
UPDATE (3:05 p.m. EDT):
Phil Kerpen, of American Commitment, said it was unbelievable that IRS supervisors thought "Tea Party" was shorthand for political groups.
"How do you feel about the White House closed to tours because they just can't afford it while they are giving the IRS agents bonuses?" he said, noting Obamacare needed to repealed and federal agents who targeted conservatives should go to jail.
Tea Party activist Niger Innis said those at the "Audit the IRS" rally were the "modern civil rights movement."
"We are marching for liberty today," he said, noting Martin Luther King was being targeted by "nefarious" government officials.
"You are on the right side of morality and history," he said. He also said Martin Luther King would be "with the Tea Party" if "he were alive today."
UPDATE (3:00 p.m. EDT):
Dan Bongino, a Republican who is running for Maryland's 6th District congressional seat and unsuccessfully ran for U.S. Senate last year, addressed the "Audit the IRS" rally.
"We got another fight on our hands," he said. "Another fight we did not ask for."
He said this fight was about our flag and that the country's flag was an "idea."
"Your liberty is the [top] priority your government needs to preserve," he said.
He said the Constitution is one of the only things that limits the federal government. Bongino said Americans have "fought and died" for America's ideals, and that America is the "exception, not the rule."
"It is worth fighting for, cede no ground in this fight," Bongino said.
UPDATE (2:55 p.m. EDT):
George Brunemann, of the Southwest Cincinnati Tea Party, said an IRS auditor said he was being targeted for having being associated with Tea Party groups.
UPDATE (2:50 p.m. EDT):
Justin Binik-Thomas described how the IRS specifically targeted him by asking those affiliated with the Cincinnati Tea Party to describe their relationship with him.
"My name is Justin Binik-Thomas. To the IRS, I'm No. 26," he said.
He continued and said that he wanted to ensure that "systemic changes" are made in the IRS so they cannot target anyone in the future.
UPDATE (2:45 p.m. EDT):
Mark West, of the Chattanooga, TN Tea Party, simply said Republicans needed to play "hardball" and not "Tee Ball." He said the U.S. military would not send "Cub Scouts" to fight al-Qaeda, and conservatives should not send those to Washington who will not stand up and fight. He said it was time for conservatives to pick up "Louisville Sluggers."
UPDATE (2:20 p.m. EDT): BREITBART NEWS EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN STEPHEN K. BANNON FIRES UP "AUDIT THE IRS" RALLY:
Bannon: "Since we're running late, I'm going to cede my time to citizens so they can come up here and tell you their stories.
"Andrew Breitbart loved the good fight, and he loved fighters, and that's why he loved the Tea Party. Go to our site [breitbart.com] every day, and we're gonna have your back in this long fight.
"People have said today that you 'own these buildings.' You may own 'em, but they're occupied by a permanent political class that is out for your destruction.
And we're going to be there every step of the way because these people know the price of everything and the value of nothing."
UPDATE (2:15 p.m. EDT):
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said that the IRS should be abolished and joked IRS agents should be sent to the Southern border. He joked if illegal immigrants saw "IRS agents on Southern border" they would turn back and go home.
"God Bless the Tea Party," Cruz said. "I'm a little bit confused [because] the New York Times told me the Tea Party is dead."
He added, "The IRS told me the Tea Party is dead."
He said there is nothing more encouraging than millions standing up for "liberty, the free market, and the Constitution."
Cruz said Richard Nixon was wrong to use the machinery of government to target Americans and the Obama administration is wrong as well for doing so.
"President Obama needs to tell the truth," Cruz said.
To roars, he noted the IRS flagged words like "liberty, Patriot, Bill of Rights, Constitution."
"They were right to be afraid," Cruz said. He said the best solution is to "abolish the IRS."
He urged citizens who have been targeted by the IRS to send emails to: IRSTarget@Cruz.Senate.Gov
"We are going to get to the bottom of this administration's abuse of power against American citizens," Cruz said.
Jenny Beth Martin: "John McCain is part of the problem in the Senate." Martin said. She said Tea Partiers are not "wacko birds" but "American eagles" before introducing Sen. Ted Cruz.
UPDATE (2:10 p.m. EDT):
Becky Gerritson, of the Wetumpka, Alabama Tea Party.
Gerritson, whom Sarah Palin referenced at the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference as a working class American the D.C. elite often look down upon, said, "trust must be established for the relationship to be continued.
"Only in government do people screw up repeatedly, then deny all responsibility, then have the gall to ask for more money and more responsibility," she said. "It's insane."
She said it was time to "defund" the IRS, "lock the doors, and turn off the lights."
"Liberty is rooted in the American soul," she said, noting to be born free is rare in the world and that is why "the fight is worth fighting."
UPDATE (1: 45 p.m. EDT): Breitbart's Matt Boyle files this report about Rep. Michele Bachmann:
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) electrified the Tea Party crowd in attendance at the press conference denouncing the “Gang of Eight” immigration bill, and assured the American people that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will not win his push to enact amnesty.
Read more here.
UPDATE (1:40 p.m. EDT) ForAmerica's Brent Bozell passionately led the crowd in a "fire Eric Holder" chant.
"I am sick and tired of not getting answers from my government when my government is abusing my freedoms," Bozell said.
He had a message for the national media who aided and abetted the Obama administration. He urged the attendees to tell the mainstream media, "Do your jobs, report the story." The crowd started chanting, "Do your jobs," as Bozell left the stage.
UPDATE (1:25 p.m. EDT):
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) joked he asked Harry Reid if he could borrow Reid's cell phone this morning and said the NSA would be surprised to see Harry Reid at a Tea Party.
Paul said Americans can have "freedom, security, and the Bill of Rights and the Constitution all at the same time."
He said the government's persecution of people based on religious and political beliefs needs to "end and it needs to end right now."
"We're sick and tired of government bullies, and we need to send them home," Paul said. "We've been fighting for a decade against people who attacked us. We've been fighting for a decade to protect our country ... We've been fighting for freedom."
He said he would continue to defend the Constitution.
UPDATE (1:20 p.m. EDT):
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) said the American people are not going to tolerate Obamacare and urged attendees to fight for change in 2014. He said 2014 will make 2010 look like a "Sunday picnic" to Democrats.
UPDATE (1:15 p.m. EDT):
Glenn Beck railed against evil the "circus masters" in the federal government that want to use machinery of government to try to make men masters of other men.
He said it was "time to rise up" because people were "born free." But he noted "freedom comes at a "profound price and responsibility." He railed against American intervention abroad and the decaying culture at home.
He blistered those who "no longer are willing to call evil by its name" and said "when there is no vision the people will perish." Beck spoke at length about Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement. He said Dr. King's vision did not come from "progressive philosophy" or "Hollywood" but from God and "God alone." He said Janis Joplin and the hippies were not responsible for the civil rights movement of the 1960s. He said he liked Washington, D.C. less than Las Vegas because at least Vegas has the decency to admit the town is full of "crooks and hookers." He also railed against the mainstream media for being public relations agents for the Obama administration.
Beck said Americans should not stand by and tolerate when the rights of people are violated based on skin color, religion, or political affiliation and criticized leaders of civil rights organization and unions whose ideals would not be recognized by their founders. He said the government cannot be trusted to protect the rights of people that are guaranteed to Americans and "self-evident."
"The government is no longer the protector of those rights," Beck said. "It is the chief violator of those rights."
UPDATE (12:38 p.m. EDT):
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN): "Don't you love the look of liberty?"
She noted she was an "insurgent" in her former life because she wanted to defeat the tax code. She said she got a job as a tax lawyer because the best way to defeat the enemy is to understand the enemy from the inside out.
She said this rally is sending "shivers" up the spines of those in Congress.
"You are here, and you are clear with your message," she said, noting everyone should have to pay something to the great country.
Heritage Action's Mike Needham said the Tea Party is alive and well and "we are going to write the obituary of big government."
"We will not stop until Obama's [big] government has been reigned in," he said.
UPDATE (12:18 p.m. EDT):
Rep. Steve King (R-IA), speaking at the rally, said "big brother has gotten a lot creepier than George Orwell though it would ever get." He said he was for abolishing the IRS.
UPDATE (12:10 p.m. EDT):
Jenny Beth Martin, of Tea Party Patriots, kicked off the rally and said, the IRS, an agency "many fear more than death" was turned into "a weapon against us.
She said "government is "too powerful and too big" and said, "as we stand here today, Congress is trying to pass another 1,000+ amnesty bill." She said government is out of control and the ruling class treats americans like subjects.
"We will not allow them to dictate to us," Martin said. "We will remind them that ours is a Constitutional republic where the law will be applied equally and fairly.
She said a "thuggish and gangster-style government will not stand in America."
We will continue to do what they fear most and "speak out" and "shine a light" on their "crony, corrupt" behavior.
UPDATE (11:58 a.m. EDT):
Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) says before the rally, "we're going to follow the facts and get what the truth is." He said the hearings with the targeted victims personalized and humanized the scandal even though he was sorry they were targeted.
"We wanted to give them a voice," Camp said.
UPDATE (11:55 a.m. EDT):
Jenny Beth Martin, of Tea Party Patriots, said she is proud of the crowd that has come to Washington to tell the IRS that they are not going to take it anymore. She noted the stellar roster of speakers and praised the "patriots" who were targeted by the IRS who will be speaking at the rally.
"We will not back down or be intimidated," Martin said, noting that is the message the rally will try to send to Washington, D.C.
UPDATE (11:10 a.m. EDT): Rally attendees give Breitbart News huge applause when Breitbart News reporter Matthew Boyle introduces himself before asking a question at the press conference:
UPDATE: (11:00 a.m. EDT): Breitbart's Boyle reports Breitbart News gets "massive applause" when he introduced himself and his organization before asking a question.
Boyle: "After I introduced myself before I asked the question, the crowd interrupted and gave a huge standing ovation."
UPDATE: (10:50 a.m. EDT) Breitbart's Boyle's updates from the press conference:
Rep. Fleming riles up the press conference audience over Obamacare. "Who was here the first time the Tea Party came to Washington?"
Then he compared gang of eight bill to Obamacare. "Maybe we should call this AmnestyCare."
Fleming: CBO report conclusion that amnesty reduces deficit "not true."
More from Breitbart's Boyle:
He said the real cost comes later.
Fleming said we are not anti-immigrant. "We are a free society but we are a society of laws."
"We all love and support the idea of immigration," he said.
Randy Weber adds: "Firings and jail time for the IRS"
Rep. Lummis (R-WY) and Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) join press conference. Both praise the Tea Party activists in the crowd.
Yoho bashes the Senate's "Gang of Eight." Instead, he calls on congress to "let's do immigration that's best for America"
He also holds up pocket Constitution.
UPDATE (10:40 a.m. EDT):
Fox News' Chad Pergram notes some in the crowd do not like House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). He also notes King said it was "creepy" what the government could do to diminish the privacy of Americans.
UPDATE (10: 35 a.m. EDT): Breitbart's Boyle reports Rep. Steve King (R-IA) believes IRS officials should face criminal charges for targeting Tea Partiers and conservatives.
"I do," King answered when asked if IRS officials who targeted Tea Party groups should face criminal charges
UPDATE (10:25 a.m. EDT): From Breitbart's Mike Flynn:
Capitol Hill police are trying to block activists attending Wednesday's "Audit the IRS" rally from also attending a nearly day-long press conference on immigration, hosted by Reps. Steve King and Louie Gohmert. The IRS rally is on the west side of the Capitol, while the immigration event is on the east side. Organizers for the IRS event were told by Hill police that "your people" can only assemble on the west side. Organizers were told to remove the activists from the immigration event.
Read more here.
UPDATE (10:15 a.m. EDT): Members at the rally are taking questions from the media.
UPDATE (10:02 a.m. EDT): More from Breitbart's Boyle:
Weber retakes the stage. "Political correctness is killing us!"
And Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) joins the press conference that now has at least 400 people in attendance.
UPDATE (9:52 a.m EDT): Breitbart's Matthew Boyle reports Gohmert praises the crowd at the rally: "I love the signs I'm seeing. You guys get it."
UPDATE (9:35 a.m. EDT): Tea Party movement takes to front of capitol to rally against amnesty
Matthew Boyle reports:
About 200 Tea Partiers began rallying outside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. to rally against the “Gang of Eight” amnesty legislation, and more and more Tea Partiers continue trickling in throughout the morning.
Technically, the rally is a “press conference” that Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is organizing with help from Reps. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Paul Broun (R-GA) and Randy Weber (R-TX), among others.
In opening remarks at the beginning of the event, King told rally-goers the majority of Americans, especially conservatives, are not getting a fair debate inside the halls of Congress in the U.S. House and the Senate.
“That’s why we are here today ... to take this debate outside the halls of Congress” King said to roaring applause.
When Gohmert took the stage, he noted how the Republican Party leadership seems to be missing a real opportunity right now to really “fix” the country. Instead of using the public awareness of President Barack Obama’s administration’s lawlessness through its scandals that keep dripping out, GOP leaders are using amnesty to change the subject.
“Now for the first time, the American people have awakened,” Gohmert said. “We have this incredible opportunity to fix things. This is the time to fix America, not change the subject.”
Weber, who took the stage next, warned against what he argued seem to be perpetual forces trying to weaken America with a weakened border.
“For us to have a safe world, we must have a strong America,” Weber said.
Regarding the NSA scandal, Weber joked that it would be nice if the president listened to everyone on immigration as much as he snooped on everyone. “We finally have a president that listens to all Americans,” Weber said.
Weber added that Obama should secure the border now.
“The president has the authority to secure our border,” Weber said. “He should do it today. In fact he should have done it yesterday.”
He added that the Tea Partiers here on Capitol Hill are helping members fight for liberty and conservatism.
“Thank you Patriots for being involved and helping to elevate this discourse,” Weber said.