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On Tuesday, June 4, 2013, several victims of the IRS targeting testified before the House Ways and Means Committee. See our blogs with a summary of the victims’ opening statements, IRS Targets Conservative NFPs Part 13 – The Victims Speak Pt I and IRS Targets Conservative NFPs Part 13 – The Victims Speak Pt II.
Ryan Smacks Down McDermott With Secondary Smack Down Delivered by a Victim
Jim McDermott (WA) stated: “None of your organizations were kept from organizing or silenced. We’re talking about whether or not the American taxpayers will subsidize your work. We’re talking about a tax break. If you didn’t come in and ask for this tax break, you would never have had a question asked of you. You could go out there and say anything you want in the world.”
McDermott went on to say that the mistake was that the staff organizing the organizations used the names of the organizations rather than the work they do, that Republicans are looking for a conspiracy where there isn’t one, and that what happened was unfair and incredibly inconvenient but it was a mistake. He also said he believes what is happening in this Committee and the Government Oversight Committee is political theater.
Paul Ryan (WI) fired back at McDermott (to a round of applause from the galley) for saying the victims are to blame. Rep. Ryan asked the victims if they were targeted because of their political beliefs, their religious beliefs or because they chose to apply. They unanimously said their beliefs. Mr. Ryan reiterated the length of time the Linchpin organization has been waiting for approval (29 months).
Rep. Ryan went on to confirm with Dr. Eastman that he has proof of IRS people committing felonies and nothing has been done, they have not been notified of an indictment, federal law allows them to request information and it was refused, identified the leaked document came from within the IRS, proof IRS leaked the confidential information to an organization with opposing views and that their donors were harassed because the confidential information was released.
Finally Rep. Ryan confirmed with Ms. Martinek that if their board members signed a letter saying they would no longer picket or protest on behalf of the pro-life movement in front of Planned Parenthood they would receive their nonprofit status. Rep. Ryan summed it up, they must surrender their First Amendment rights.
When given the opportunity to respond to a question from another Committee member, Laurens County Tea Party group founder Dianne Belsom, seizes the opportunity to respond to Rep. McDermott. “I am totally outraged by the accusation that we are somehow subsidized by the taxpayers. People making donations to a 501(c)(4) organization, that is not a tax-deductible amount….We are not getting any money from the taxpayers…so this is an outrage that somehow we are taking money from starving children to fund our groups.”