Top Republicans call for withdrawal of tax-exempt rules

Two top House Republicans called on the new IRS commissioner to withdraw new proposed rules for tax-exempt groups, saying the regulations would not fix the causes of the agency’s targeting controversy.

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House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) say the rules – released by the Treasury Department and the IRS in November – would smother the speech of tax-exempt groups and “and systemize targeting of organizations whose views are at odds with those of the Administration.”

"The proposed regulation is intended to clarify the tax-exemption determinations process and resolve problems identified in a Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) audit report,” Issa and Jordan wrote to John Koskinen, the new IRS commissioner. “It does not.”

Koskinen, who will testify before a House Ways and Means subcommittee on Wednesday, has said he played no role in formulating the rules.

House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) and other top GOP lawmakers have also expressed concern about the rules.

Issa and Jordan have also blasted the FBI and the Justice Department’s handling of their inquiry into the IRS targeting, and have so far been stymied in their efforts to get a key lawyer in the probe to testify this week. That Justice attorney, Barbara Bosserman, has donated to President Obama, leading Republicans to question her role in the inquiry.