Rep. Roskam: 'Taxpayer Bill of Rights' Will Put IRS on its 'Heels'

Tuesday, 25 Feb 2014 07:35 PM

By Cathy Burke

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An "overreaching" Obama administration is trying to create "a new normal," but the House GOP will be "pushing back hard on the IRS" to stop that perception, Republican Rep. Peter Roskam of Illinois vowed Tuesday.

The chief deputy whip in the House, and member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, told hosts Steve Malzberg and Lisa Jandovitz on "The Steve Malzberg Show" about two bills he's introduced, a kind of Taxpayer Bill of Rights, "to put the IRS on its heels."

"There's no shortage of things to deal with against the administration — and particularly overreaches," he said, vowing: "You're going to see the House dealing with this whole idea of executive overreach in the coming weeks."

"... What the administration wants us to do is, frankly, feel overwhelmed, like this is all a foregone conclusion where they've created a new normal," he said. "We've got to reject that and push back and I am of the view that pushing back hard on the IRS is right where we need to be."

Story continues below video.



Roskam said these bills, in part, will restrict the IRS from asking about religious backgrounds, political backgrounds or social backgrounds.

"That has nothing to do with your job and if you ask those questions, you're out of bounds," he said. "There were witnesses before the Ways and Means Committee who testified that the IRS asked them about their prayer meetings, if you can imagine... those things are off-limits."

Roskam called his bills "very commonsense ideas."

"This is not about some great political philosophy other than good government — and good government says that it's the people that make these decisions and bureaucrats don’t get to," he said.

He recalled one witness before the Ways and Means Committee months ago who gave testimony "so compelling because she essentially said 'the federal government in written, interrogatory questions to me and asking me under penalty of perjury to answer these questions was inquiring about the prayer meetings of my organization.'"

"You don't have to be an alarmist, you don't have to be a black helicopter conspiracy theorist to recognize that that kind of power going after our first freedom, that is the freedom to worship, is something that should make everybody shudder," he said.


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