Senator Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) took bold action on the Senate floor yesterday, requesting votes on his proposed legislation to stop the IRS’s targeting of citizens based on their political actions. Cruz said that if Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) blocks the legislation from being voted on, he will not consent to the passage of Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s (D-MN) STOP Identity Theft Act, bill S. 149.
Cruz argued that Reid continues to disallow Republican-sponsored bills to be voted on by the body of the Senate.
“It was roughly ten months ago that the Inspector General of the Department of Treasury concluded that the IRS had wrongfully targeted conservative groups, tea party groups, pro-Israel groups, and pro-life groups,” Sen. Cruz said in a press release obtained by Breitbart Texas. “The day that news broke, the President said that he was outraged. He said that the American people had a right to be angry. In the ten months that have passed, we have discovered that not a single person has been indicted and many of the victims of this illegal targeting have not even been interviewed by the Department of Justice …”
On the Senate floor, Cruz told his fellow Senators, “I ask this body to stand with the words of President Obama, if not the actions. And I ask this body to stand with the American people to protect them from being wrongfully singled out by the abuse of power in the IRS.”
In February of this year, Sen. Cruz introduced two amendments in the Senate Judiciary Committee as a reaction to proposed IRS rule changes that would have further stifled free speech. The proposed rule changes came after the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups was revealed. The amendments were defeated on a straight party-line vote.
The following is Senator Cruz’ speech from the Senate floor on Monday:
The two bills introduced by Sen. Cruz are S.2066 and S.2067. The first bill “would prohibit an IRS employee from intentionally targeting individuals or groups based on their political views. It would make it a crime for an IRS employee to willfully discriminate against groups based solely on the political beliefs or policy statements held, expressed, or published by that organization.”
The second would amend the tax code to use the bipartisan Federal Election Commission’s definitions to determine whether a non-profit is engaged in political activity. Cruz said that the IRS should focus on taxation, rather than determining what political activity is.
Sen. Cruz supports Klobuchar’s STOP Identity Theft Act legislation. However, because Majority Leader Reid continues to shut out Republican bills from getting a vote, he would stand in opposition to her bill. Cruz said, “It has been the practice under the current Majority Leader to prevent the minority from introducing amendments … so the only avenue for the minority to have a voice is to use tools such as denying consent to try to raise issues that are relevant to the American people.”
He later added, “I would note this request is less than what I asked in my unanimous consent. It’s not a request that it pass. It’s simply a request that there be a vote.”
Follow Bob Price on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.