On Wednesday, thousands of people gathered on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol building to protest the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) recent admission that it “inappropriately” targeted conservative political groups to see if they were violating their tax exempt status during the 2012 presidential election. Prominent conservative public figures like Glenn Beck, Brent Bozell and Ken Hoagland joined with a number of lawmakers in Washington to address protesters at the “Audit the IRS” rally, demanding accountability and transparency from U.S. government agencies and the Obama administration.
Many in the media have labeled the IRS scandal as “Watergate 2.0.” During the rally, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) used this comparison to energize the crowd. “When Richard Nixon tried to use the IRS to target his political enemies, it was wrong,” Cruz said. “And when the Obama administration does it, it’s still wrong.”
As chants to “fire the IRS agents” ramped up, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) suggested to “start with the 16,000 agents [charged with] implementing ObamaCare.” The recent scandal has fueled debate surrounding the IRS’ ability to properly implement the massive health care overhauls connected to the president’s premier legislative achievement.
The announcement that lawmakers had just submitted a petition – with over 2 million signatures – to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA or ObamaCare) sent the crowd into an uproar. Half a dozen congressmen descended from the Capitol steps to join what Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) called “just the beginning.” Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) introduced H.R. 2009, which prohibits the IRS from enforcing or implementing ObamaCare. Likewise, Rep. John Fleming’s (R-LA) bill, H.R. 2045, halts all IRS audits until after the current IRS investigation is complete.
AMAC was pleased to send an AMAC representative to cover the events of the rally. As an organization dedicated to championing the interests of mature Americans and seniors, we are encouraged to see our politicians engaged in a robust discussion regarding the IRS and its ability to implement a complex health care law that will affect millions of Americans. With the summer heating up, AMAC will keep a close watch on similar events as they are planned, coordinated. As our country continues to watch the ongoing drama unfold from outside the Beltway – AMAC will keep a tab on the key concerns, and will continue to shape and identify the right solutions needed to tackle our nation’s most critical challenges.