Schumer Calls on Obama to Use IRS to Curtail Tea Party Activities

Photo Credit: AP

Photo Credit: AP

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) proposed using the Internal Revenue Service to curtail Tea Party group funding during a speech on how to “exploit” and “weaken” the movement at the Center for American Progress on Thursday.

Arguing that Tea Party groups have a financial advantage after the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, Schumer said the Obama administration should bypass Congress and institute new campaign finance rules through the IRS.

“It is clear that we will not pass anything legislatively as long as the House of Representatives is in Republican control, but there are many things that can be done administratively by the IRS and other government agencies—we must redouble those efforts immediately,” Schumer said.

“One of the great advantages the Tea Party has is the huge holes in our campaign finance laws created [by] the ill advised decision [Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission],” Schumer said. “Obviously the Tea Party elites gained extraordinary influence by being able to funnel millions of dollars into campaigns with ads that distort the truth and attack government.”

The Obama administration proposed new IRS restrictions on campaign related activity by tax-exempt groups last November. The rules would crack down on “candidate-related political activity,” which includes advocacy “for a clearly identified political candidate or candidates of a political party” and communications that are “made within 60 days of a general election (or within 30 days of a primary election) and clearly identify a candidate or political party.”

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