Tags: koch | brothers | slam | reid

Koch Brothers Fire Back at 'Disrespectful and Divisive' Harry Reid

Friday, 31 Jan 2014 12:59 PM

By Melanie Batley

Billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch fired back at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Friday in a rare public rebuke after the Democrat used the Senate floor to accuse them of trying to "buy the country."

Reid's comments came during a debate with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Thursday  after the Republican blasted new rules proposed by the IRS that would crack down on the political activities of tax-exempt organizations, many of which are conservative and were targeted by the agency for heightened scrutiny.

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"Senator Reid falsely accused the Kochs of trying to 'buy the country' because they have exercised their First Amendment rights of free speech and free association," said Philip Ellender, president and chief operating officer at Koch Companies Public Sector, according to Politico.

"Sen. Reid's divisive remarks were not only disrespectful and beneath the office he holds, they were indicative of what lengths he and his Democratic allies will go to eliminate and silence their political opposition."

McConnell contends the rules are an attempt by the administration to silence conservative groups, many of whom have said the regulations would infringe on their rights of free speech.

Ellender praised McConnell for his "great courage" in taking on Democrats over the issue, Politico reports.

"Charles Koch and David Koch will continue to exercise their First Amendment rights to advocate for their fundamental beliefs in individual liberty, limited government, and promotion of policies that help people improve their lives," Ellender said.

The Kochs, whose political network reportedly raised over $400 million in 2012, have signaled through a new fundraising push that they intend to increase their involvement on behalf of candidates in the 2014 midterm elections.

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