Americans for Prosperity's Phillips: IRS Targeting Wasn't Isolated Incident

Friday, 17 May 2013 03:54 PM

By Lisa Barron and John Bachman

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Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, describes the IRS targeting of conservative groups applying for nonprofit status "outrageous."

In an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV on Friday, Phillips stated that the IRS "was targeting people who oppose the president's big government agenda and it was over a long period of time. We're talking about over a year here, so it's not like it was an isolated incident, it isn't like it happened once or twice over a two-week period in 2010."

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He continued, "It was systematic and it occurred over a period of well over a year. That's outrageous and folks have to pay for that at the IRS and within this administration."

Asked to clarify what he meant by that, Phillips responded, "At a minimum, either people should be fired – which a couple have, more should be coming – and there may be other penalties, there may be criminal action."

"Frankly, there are Constitutional issues at hand here," he added. "It's entirely dangerous. We're talking about the First Amendment rights of Americans being infringed upon solely because they oppose the president's big government agenda. That is something we haven't seen in decades."

As for the larger implications of the scandal, Phillips said, "I'm telling you, we have a new opportunity to roll back Obamacare because when you look at this lady who ran the department that was going after these tea party groups, she's the same individual who will now be running the IRS enforcement of Obamacare. We're going to use this IRS outrage… to genuinely call into question whether you want the IRS rooting through the healthcare records of every single American."

Emphasizing that this could happen before the next round of elections, Phillips explained, "We want to force a vote. Let's have a vote specifically on removing the IRS as the enforcer of the Obamacare mandates and the Obamacare taxes, because right now the IRS is the enforcer, the executer, for the punitive side of Obamacare."

He continued, "Let's make these liberals decide whether or not they want to vote to keep the IRS, this agency, in charge of enforcing Obamacare and then let them explain to the American people," adding, "I don't know that they want to go in front of the people of their states and explain why they want to keep what is clearly a rogue agency with regard to how they attack tea parties as the enforcer of Obamacare. Let's make them take that vote."

If the vote were to succeed, Phillips suggested it should be up to the administration to come up with an alternative idea. "We know what we don’t want, and what we don’t want is what is clearly, at this point, a politicized IRS digging into the health records of all Americans."

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