McConnell: Stop IRS from suppressing free speech
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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellFive things to watch for in Trump’s address Speaker Ryan faces crucial stretch Cruz, Lee, Paul demand 'full repeal' of ObamaCare MORE (R-Ky.) demanded Thursday that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) not impose a rule denying tax-exempt status to political groups.

“Left, Right, or Center — folks understand what a threat this rule poses to our most cherished of civil liberties,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.

McConnell made the comments on the last day for the public to comment on the proposed rule change that would limit political activity of groups seeking tax-exempt status.

“People are making their voices heard, loudly, and the message they’re broadcasting is pretty clear: ‘Leave the First Amendment alone,’ ” McConnell said.

The House also voted 243-176 on Wednesday to delay the rule.

The rule change was suggested after reports last year that the administration had targeted Tea Party-affiliated groups, denying them tax-exempt status.

McConnell called on IRS Commissioner John Koskinen to “do the right thing” by stopping the regulation.