House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp has introduced legislation that would block the IRS from imposing new restrictions on tax-exempt groups until after the 2014 mid-term elections.
If enacted, the IRS restrictions "would severely limit all the groups that are trying to educate voters about the Constitution," Camp, R-Mich., told Newsmax Thursday in an exclusive interview. "That would mean no voter guides and no nonpartisan voter registration drives."
The hostility toward conservatives in the proposed regulations, according to Camp, "is found in that they apply to non-profit educational groups, so-called 501(c)(4), but not to labor unions.
"It would in all likelihood lead to another targeting of tea party groups if it's not stopped. But it would also affect many other kinds of groups. That's why these regulations have to be stopped."
Once federal regulations are proposed, they go through a period of discussion and then are finalized and put in the Federal Register.
Camp said his bill "will delay this (for 12 months) past the election and keep it out as an electoral factor."
Camp is angry the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of the Treasury are pursuing new regulations before his committee has completed its probe of reported IRS abuses in its targeting of conservative groups.
"These proposed new regulations could actually legalize targeting and surveillance of many groups," Camp told Newsmax. "And they are coming at a time when [the Ways and Means Committee] has not finished its own investigation and not a single victim of those abuses has so far been interviewed by the Department of Justice or the FBI."
Camp also voiced serious doubts about the sincerity of the White House in denouncing the IRS targeting of tea party and other conservative groups.
When President Obama addressed reports of the targeting at a news conference on Nov. 20, he said that "if in fact IRS personnel engaged in the kind of practices that have been reported on and were intentionally targeting conservative groups, then that's outrageous. People have to be held accountable and it's got to be fixed."
Camp said: "That's probably the last time [Obama] said anything about these abuses."
In addition, "I still don't have many of the documents I requested from the administration for our committee investigation.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.
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