(House of Representatives - May 23, 2013)

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[Pages H2942-H2948]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                           ISSUES OF THE DAY

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speaker's announced policy of 
January 3, 2013, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Gohmert) is recognized 
for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader.
  Mr. GOHMERT. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

[[Page H2943]]

  It has been an interesting week here in Washington, especially here 
on Capitol Hill. We found out a great deal we didn't know before. We're 
getting more details. It's intriguing that we have the IRS official, 
Ms. Lerner, who knew--found out about--the outrageous practice of 
targeting what were perceived to be the President's enemies--people who 
wanted the Constitution followed, people who felt they had been taxed 
enough already, the Tea Parties, constitutional groups, pro-Israel 
groups, conservative groups, people who could have made a difference in 
the last election.
  One reporter had asked before, Why would people even be bothering to 
get legal status? Why would they even apply to the IRS to get 501(c)(3) 
or 501(c)(4) status?
  The answer is: because that's the way the government has taken over 
people's political abilities, because you can't call people to 
Washington or call people to come state their opinions without normally 
raising money, and if you don't have a legally recognized group by the 
IRS, then the IRS will go after the individuals who engage in pooling 
money and in helping pay people's way to get them here. They'll go 
after the individual.

                              {time}  1310

  We have forced people who want to make their voices heard 
collectively into begging the IRS for legal status, and the threats are 
there if you don't get their legal status recognized. Then when we see 
what the IRS has done as just an arm, basically, of the Democratic 
Party to help defeat or help prevent people from having legal status, 
it is absolutely incredible, especially when you find out they wouldn't 
even give them an answer ``yes'' or ``no''; because these people at the 
IRS, the higher ranking officials, they knew if they denied a request, 
gee, that could be appealed and they might get an answer before the 
election, and they weren't going to let that happen in time, at least, 
to make a difference in the election. So it's what most people who care 
about the Constitution have been afraid of for so long.
  I've heard some people, some friends, some Republican friends say 
they think Richard Nixon was a great President, but I've read 
transcripts of conversations. Anybody who will say one thing to one 
person and turn right around immediately thereafter and say exactly the 
opposite to another person and play them against each other, I just 
can't consider that to be a great President.
  We know that under the Nixon administration the IRS was used to 
target an enemies list, but now we find that under this administration 
it's been used and abused as a process, as a political arm in ways that 
Richard Nixon would never have dreamed possible. He never would have 
dreamed that anybody would get away with this kind of activity before 
an election, especially after Watergate. And so it has been.
  So we want to take this time to make sure, Mr. Speaker, that people 
are aware and the Record contains the stories of different Tea Party 
groups and the difficulties they've had. In that regard, I am quite 
proud to yield to my friend from New Mexico, Mr. Steve Pearce. 
Hopefully, it won't hurt his reputation for me to call him a dear 
friend. That's the way I figure him.
  Mr. PEARCE. I thank the gentleman for yielding, and we will hold 
those comments quietly between ourselves here.
  You bring up a point that absolutely must be discussed in public. We 
need to highlight those things that are going on right now from our 
government towards its citizens.
  Our Founding Fathers understood this policy very well, this concept. 
They said:

       When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When 
     the government fears the people, there is liberty.

  I hear constantly from people in America right now that we fear the 
government, we fear the retribution, we fear that they're going to come 
in and take things from us, that they're listening to us at all times. 
Many would discard that as simply paranoia, until now.
  An 83-year-old grandmother in Albuquerque, New Mexico, who I've known 
for the last 15 years, since I've gotten into political circles--she's 
probably the most joyful, ebullient person in all of politics because 
she's here for what comes in the heart, not for what it can do for her. 
You see, she's a naturalized citizen who was born in Indonesia.
  She came here and ended up, from ages 12 to 16, spending time in the 
Japanese internment camps because of her origin, though she's not 
Japanese herself. She has experienced the government that would become 
heavy-handed in a time of war. But the government that would become 
heavy-handed over political processes is a completely different 
government than that during World War II.
  She helped establish the Children's Freedom Scholarship Fund, where 
she hands out patriotic coloring books to youngsters in the Albuquerque 
area. And because of these activities that got the attention of the 
IRS, they came in and audited and harassed this 83-year-old 
  I had an email before the scandal broke about one of my constituents 
in Socorro, who said: I was audited and we couldn't figure out why. I 
talked to my accountant. During the audit, we couldn't figure it out. 
There was no unusual question. But during the audit, I noticed a 
handwritten name across my file, and I just made mental note of it.
  After an audit that asked nothing specific, the auditor asked, Do you 
know--and he read the name. The guy says, It doesn't ring a bell to me. 
It did not. On the drive home, he said, Wait a minute. That's that 
meeting I went to 3 years ago. That's the meeting where I said, I don't 
want to be a part of this group. They're interested in the Constitution 
and the debt. I know about all that stuff. He writes a small check, 
leaves and never goes back. One meeting with the guy who later formed 
the Tea Party--it wasn't even formed--causes an audit.
  When our government knows this kind of minute information and is 
willing to single you out, to veritably persecute you, because 
persecution is when we're dealt with differently, we have a different 
set of rules, that then qualifies as persecution. When this government 
is willing to do that, it causes us to say, Wait. This is not paranoia. 
This is justifiable fear of our government.
  A small school in my hometown wanted to charter itself and submitted 
a 501(c)(3) application. The application was never handled. It went on 
and on and on. Our office made a call, and then the person listed on 
the organizational chart was called in for an audit.
  I will tell you that we were told by the administration spokesman 
yesterday, Mr. Lew, the Treasury Secretary, that there's absolutely no 
indication that this was anything political.
  There's absolutely no indication that it was anything but political, 
Mr. Lew. Regardless of what you all say down the street, understand 
that the American people are frightened of the government. They also 
think, with respect to the idea that we're going to hold people 
accountable--we hear that: We're going to hold people accountable; 
we're going to bring them in; we're going to look; we're going to find 
the facts, and then we're going to hold them accountable.
  The American people look with a little bit of curious disregard for 
those statements.
  Why would Americans be suspicious of the government, that they won't 
actually do anything to the people who are involved, that they won't 
actually get to the bottom of it? Well, there's a track record in the 
last 5 years that has caused the American citizens to look with disdain 
at any promises that there will be penalties, that the wrongdoers would 
be punished.
  You can start with the Fort Hood shooter. He has not yet been brought 
to trial. He murdered dozens of people, and he has drawn $287,000 in 
pay because they can't take him off the payroll until he comes to 
trial. Meanwhile, the victims can't get their pay from the government 
that they're supposed to receive, and the American people understand an 
injustice is occurring from this White House because they will not 
pursue convicting a man that everyone knows has committed murder.
  Well, it's said that's one instance. We can, then, take a look at 
Fast and Furious. I was one of the first to call for Attorney General 
Holder to resign, and we should look more closely at his participation 
in the Fast and Furious,

[[Page H2944]]

where rifles were sent across the border and came back and killed an 
American employee of the Border Patrol. Yet no one has been held 
accountable for that action there.
  Mr. GOHMERT. I think that it's worthy to note that apparently, when 
there was a Fox News reporter named Rosen that wanted to look into this 
Fast and Furious information and hopefully get the scoop, get to the 
bottom line of what really happened, instead of this Justice Department 
doing as it told the American people, as the Attorney General and all 
these other people said as part of this administration, ``We're going 
to get the people responsible for this,'' instead of being diligent and 
relentless in getting to the bottom of what happened--who approved 
these 2,000 or so guns being sold to criminals that would be in 
criminal hands and ultimately used to kill hundreds of Mexicans?

                              {time}  1320

  Mexico should be outraged at what this administration has done. 
Instead of doing that, they go after a reporter that wants to find out 
what happened. They end up going after his phone records. They go after 
his email, from what we've learned, apparently. Possibly other family 
members. And they still, all these years later, haven't given us real 
information on who was responsible, who authorized that, who forced the 
sale of those guns. All we know is that this administration has tried 
to use Fast and Furious to demand more gun control legislation.
  And we have a President that goes down to Mexico in the last 2 or 3 
weeks and tells them about how outrageous it is that America has been 
selling guns to criminals that are using them in Mexico. He should have 
donned his hat and said, Thank you very much, my administration did 
that to you, and I'm very sorry. But, oh, no, he blames America without 
actually saying, Please, I beg your forgiveness. This was my 
administration's doing.
  They haven't even gotten to the bottom and, instead, go after the 
reporter that tried to find out what happened. That's even more 
outrageous, and it goes to just what the gentleman was saying about 
people wondering how can we trust this administration when they've said 
that they're going to get the people responsible and they've done no 
such thing.
  Mr. PEARCE. I think the gentleman's points are well made, and to 
continue the discussion of why Americans might be skeptical about 
whether anyone will pay any price for what has happened in the 
targeting of certain groups in this country by the Internal Revenue 
Service, it's also important that we look at other cases that have not 
yet been prosecuted and in which wrongdoing occurred.
  MF Global was a commodities trading firm. Jon Corzine, a Democrat-
elected official, took over that firm. It's against the law, when you 
have your money in these trading accounts, whether it be Merrill Lynch 
or whoever, it is against the law to take your money out and use it for 
corporate governance activities, for corporate organizational 
activities. And yet Jon Corzine reached down into customer accounts and 
pulled out $1.5 billion of money from account holders and spent it 
trying to keep his failing organization together. His efforts failed. 
MF Global filed bankruptcy. That was in 2011, and still Mr. Corzine has 
not had to answer any questions, has been convicted of no wrongdoing, 
hasn't been brought to trial, and hasn't had a grand jury impaneled.
  Bernie Madoff, we saw him take billions from investors. And for 
decades, the regulators had reports that he was doing it, and not one 
regulator has been held accountable for their oversights and omissions. 
No one has ever checked.
  So when we hear the administration say, Trust us; we're going to get 
to the bottom of this IRS scandal and we're going to hold people 
accountable, there is an anger building among the American people that 
says we don't think that Washington will hold anyone accountable.
  You have the AP reporters whose phone records were gotten, and not 
just the ones who were involved, but the broad pool of reporters, and 
yet nothing is happening to the people in the Justice Department who 
did that.
  Benghazi is another element where we believe no one will ever be held 
accountable. In fact, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says, What 
does it matter?
  What it matters, ma'am, is that someone allowed American soldiers to 
be killed without reinforcements. C-130s were within flying time. 
Drones were there. Lasers were locked onto the artillery that were 
firing rounds into that compound, and no one says a word.
  And so we have the Internal Revenue Service investigating and holding 
audits for law-abiding citizens like this 83-year-old grandmother. 
Meanwhile, there are over $1 billion of unpaid taxes by Federal 
employees. Why doesn't the Internal Revenue Service go after the 
Federal employees who refuse to pay their own taxes.
  The highest profile case is Mr. Geithner, who became Treasury 
Secretary; and we were told that he's such an important person, he 
can't be held to account for small actions like that. Yet one political 
party, one political viewpoint has been singled out by this 
administration in order to put the chill on people who might be 
involved in activities that would disagree with the government.
  We've seen governments like this before in American history. We've 
seen tyrants before. We've seen tyranny before in world history, and I 
think Democrats, Republicans, and Independents are going to stand up on 
these issues and demand accountability from Washington. I think the 
American people are coming together with a will and a backbone that 
will stand up and say, You, the people who perpetrated these evils and 
these crimes, will be accountable.
  That's what makes this country great. That's what makes this country 
the envy of all other nations because we have a Constitution that our 
Founding Fathers put in place which gives the people the power. The 
government is working at the approval of the American people. I think 
the American people are coming together across racial lines, across 
party lines, across religious and cultural lines to say that we demand 
accountability from our government officials, that we will not allow 
any citizen to be treated this way.

  The Nation spoke this way when it was Richard Nixon, and I think the 
Nation will speak this way under this administration. The parallels are 
extreme. When the government gets too strong, it's time for the people 
to stand up and say, No, you are not all powerful, that we the people 
do establish and ordain.
  I think the people of this country are going to question this 
establishment and are ordaining. I appreciate the opportunity to speak.
  Mr. GOHMERT. Thank you, and I would like to yield to the gentleman 
for a question.
  It's my understanding that the Albuquerque Tea Party was one that 
filed for 501(c)(4) status 3 years ago. I don't know if the gentleman 
is familiar with the Albuquerque Tea Party.
  Mr. PEARCE. I am. I've been there many times. They're people 
concerned about small government. They're concerned about the debt and 
the deficit. They understand that these are the biggest risks that we 
face, and they speak articulately and coherently about that. They are 
also groups that hold elected officials accountable for their actions. 
I think those are positive things.
  Mr. GOHMERT. Well, apparently, after 2 years of waiting, they got a 
multipage letter from the IRS asking for really extensive, intrusive 
information that it sounds like the IRS should never have had to 
inquire about. But here again, it sounds like another case where the 
IRS knew if they ruled on whether or not they would have 501(c)(4) 
status, they could have appealed and probably had a good case based on 
what the IRS has been doing. They wouldn't give them an answer.
  Mr. PEARCE. We had been listening. Before everyone recognized it was 
a nationwide scandal, we were hearing these reports. No matter that we 
disagreed with the Obama administration on policies, we never believed 
these reports to be true. So we investigated, but you could never 
substantiate. And now, then, 2 and 3 and 4 years later, to find out 
that it was systemic, that it was intentional, and that it was 
politically motivated causes one to fear for

[[Page H2945]]

the very institution that we call our Constitution and our government.

                              {time}  1330

  Mr. GOHMERT. Reclaiming the time momentarily, it's interesting, you 
know, we find out, as people have been digging deeper over the last few 
days, that the President of the United States met with the anti-Tea 
Party IRS union chief the day before the agency targeted the Tea Party.
  National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen Kelley commented 
on the relationship between the anti-Tea Party IRS union and the Obama 
White House, and made this statement: For me, it's about collaboration.
  So it is also important to note, and I didn't know if my dear friend 
was familiar with Executive Order 13522, I wasn't until just the last 
couple of days, but had done a job of finding this.
  This was an executive order that the President ordered, beginning in 
2009, requiring that government agencies collaborate, consult in pre-
decisional discussions with union bosses that would have to be off the 
record, unrecorded, and private, beyond the reach of anyone seeking to 
get information about the conversations.
  And, in fact, this administration said pre-decisional discussions, by 
their nature, should be conducted confidentially among the parties to 
the discussions. This confidentiality is an essential ingredient in 
building the environment of mutual trust and respect necessary for the 
honest exchange of views and collaboration.
  Well, this is the President that was going to have the most 
transparent administration in American history; yet, I didn't know, in 
2009, he ordered these agencies that ought to be completely 
transparent, ordered them, his employees, to have meetings before they 
make important decisions with union bosses.
  So that tells us something too about the atmosphere that was being 
created, when a union boss gets to have secret conversations with 
government officials that cannot be retrieved by any of us wanting the 
administration to be transparent. And we know that those unions were 
anti-Tea Party. They wanted them eliminated, and they get to go talk to 
the IRS officials that are making decisions about targeting the Tea 
Parties. Something seems awry.
  I yield to my friend for a comment.
  Mr. PEARCE. Yes, I would agree with the gentleman. Something seems 
  The American people have a fascinating intuitiveness about them. It's 
reported that the unions spent $40 million to defeat Scott Walker. The 
reason Scott Walker won, he won 40 percent of the union vote.
  People who are supposedly represented by the union bosses understand 
that when their leadership begins to take this country in the wrong 
direction, that they will exercise their voices and they will speak up; 
and that's the very powerful reminder that we, as people, have at the 
ballot box.
  When the American people are left without government interference, 
without government threats, without the IRS intimidation, the American 
people choose rightly an awfully big percentage of the time. So I have 
the ultimate belief, because I'm hearing Democrats here on Capitol Hill 
as outraged as Republicans. I heard Republicans under the Nixon 
administration as outraged as Democrats.
  It's when we come together in a common belief that our Nation, 
regardless of political viewpoints, represents all viewpoints, that we 
all have a right to speak, that we all have a right to compel. That's 
what's made us strong through our history.
  And so those Democrats who now are saying that the IRS and this 
administration have gone too far are the strength of this country, as 
Republicans were under the Nixon administration.
  So I have the ultimate belief that we, as Americans, are coming 
together again in our core principles to understand that no government, 
no matter which party, is powerful enough to come in and have watchdogs 
over us, to allow members of their party to take $1.5 billion from 
segregated accounts without being held accountable for the criminal 
  They understand that we cannot break the laws of this Nation and 
other nations, sending guns to a foreign country illegally; not even 
the government can do that.
  And they understand there's something intrinsically wrong when we 
hear the pleas of our four embassy personnel saying we need help, and 
we refuse it.
  The American people have had enough. It doesn't matter that it's 
Democrat. If it was a Republican, it would be enough too. And I think 
the American people are coalescing into an idea that we are a 
government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
  And I believe that coalescing is going to provide us the framework 
for a new political institution. Don't know what it'll look like, don't 
know how it's going to shape up, but the American people are saying 
that enough is enough. Enough corruption. Enough scandals. Let's start 
cleaning out the mess. And that's what I hear from constituents from 
both parties every week I'm at home.

  We're going to continue our work here, but I thank the gentleman for 
yielding and appreciate his bringing this issue to the floor.
  Mr. GOHMERT. Thank you very much. It is an important issue.
  We have a report here indicating the currently countless numbers, 
trying to get a count of groups that were targeted. We've seen reports 
that groups, Jewish and Christian groups, that were very supportive of 
Israel got heightened scrutiny by the IRS. They were deemed, 
apparently, not to be supportive of the President, as the IRS, 
apparently, at least their leaders, wanted them to be. And, obviously, 
that was after consulting with the union boss, the IRS employees.
  Let me just say I know many IRS employees, and there are those who 
are afraid to comment because of concern over their repercussions; but 
they're outraged because they came into the IRS and they were taught 
and they were trained you cannot have any conflict of interest. You 
cannot make any decisions based on political bias. You cannot have ever 
owed the IRS any money if you're going to work for us.
  In fact, there was outrage among some that were afraid to speak up 
because they were not allowed. They were told that you cannot underpay 
through withholding what you will ultimately owe on your income tax. Or 
if you file an amended return where you failed to initially include 
income, you may be fired from the IRS.
  So the first thing that this President does is go out and hire a guy 
who swore, I believe it was three or four years in a row, he swore to 
his employer that he would pay the taxes that were due and owing. If 
they would just give him all the money, he would see that the taxes on 
that money was paid.
  And lo and behold, those taxes were not paid, as he swore he would. 
And not only was he not barred from working for the IRS; he was made 
the boss over the IRS, the boss over the entire Treasury Department.
  But the Greater Phoenix Tea Party in Arizona filed for a 501(c)(4) in 
October of 2010 and, after waiting 2 years, received a letter demanding 
an inordinate amount of information. And so far, even now, this 
Internal Revenue Service has refused to give them an answer on their 
501(c)(4), effectively keeping them out of the political process for 
the 2012 election cycle, and now working, apparently, even now, to keep 
them out of the 2014 election cycle.
  Amazing how effective the IRS can be when one administration can use 
them to further their goals.

                              {time}  1340

  The Mississippi Tea Party filed for a 501(c)4 status in 2009. On 
September 28, 2010, the group received a letter from the IRS wanting 
additional information, including what their relationship was with the 
Tea Party Patriots. But their analysis got rather abusive.
  The Portage County Tea Party in Ohio applied for tax exempt status 
and they received incredibly onerous questions, harassing questions, 
and they answered them, gave them information that no one should have 
to provide. Four years later, they're still waiting on an answer.
  The Mississippi Tea Party. They're still waiting. The Portage County 
Tea Party. They're still waiting. Anyway, it's just incredible.
  The Alabama Tea Party we already mentioned. Really abusive requests 
were made by the IRS, harassing them. The Texas Patriots Tea Party 
filed for a 501(c)(4) status in June of 2012. They received numerous 
followup questions

[[Page H2946]]

and have not heard back from the IRS about their status. So they were 
effectively kept out of the 2012 political process.
  Again, apparently there are reporters that are so far removed from 
how the political process has been forced to work. You've got to have 
IRS approval or they will come after you individually when you try to 
engage in any type of group effort. It used to be there was a freedom 
of assembly. You could gather people, assemble people as you want. You 
could pay for their bus fare. Unions do it all the time. But they have 
a very special status, obviously, with this administration.
  One of the great scenes in video history was my old friend, Andrew 
Breitbart, coming out of the Coliseum and seeing all these protesters. 
He starts asking them about their signs, what they mean, can they give 
specific examples about when Glenn Beck lied or things they had on 
their signs. They couldn't. And it was amazing. I didn't see it in the 
beginning of the video but Andrew saw it immediately. These people were 
plants. They were handed these signs by their union. They were told to 
stand there and talk about people lying, and just demean individuals 
and organizations, as instructed by their union leaders.
  When he got to the bottom of it, there was a note somewhere that it 
was produced by the union. So he got to the bottom of it. He had a 
camera that followed him as he would ask questions very pointedly. It 
became very clear they didn't know what they were there about, they 
couldn't give individual examples. They were told to go out there and 
be a protester. And the unions took care of it. And when the cameras 
were making them look bad, they were ordered to get back on the union 
bus and leave the area by the union bosses. Andrew had that gift. He 
could see right through all the baloney. It's a shame he's no longer 
with us. But what he has left is an organization that's doing even more 
amazing things.
  You had the Ottawa County Patriots from Michigan file for 501(c)(3) 
status August 22, 2011. They're still waiting for a ``specialist'' to 
approve their application, despite numerous attempts to get 
clarification from the IRS. So they were totally kept out of the 2012 
political process because of the partisan IRS leadership that would not 
even give a ruling on these things. It wasn't a problem for 
organizations that were supportive of the administration, apparently.
  There were groups like the Louisa, Virginia, Tea Party in Virginia 
that decided not to apply after they heard from other Tea Party groups 
just how abusive the IRS was being. And their leaders didn't want to go 
through individually what other Tea Party leaders were having to go 
through. So the Louisa VA Tea Party never got their lawful status from 
the IRS. All of those people were effectively kept out of the 2012 
political cycle by this partisan IRS work and effort.
  The DeLAND 912 organization from Florida also heard about the horror 
stories of how abusive the IRS became if you applied for legal status 
as a Tea Party, so they didn't apply. Once again, the IRS was 
successful in their political endeavors in silencing another group of 
people from Florida during that political cycle.
  Goose Creek 912 Project from South Carolina, they were preparing to 
file for a 501(c)(3) status or 501(c)(4) but after they heard about all 
of the harassment of other Tea Party groups, they voted unanimously not 
to file. The IRS partisan efforts worked. Another group of Americans 
were silenced because of the partisan political work of the IRS.
  The McLean Tea Party in Illinois, another case where they decided not 
to apply after they got word of all the horror stories about the IRS 
abuses of individual Tea Party leaders and the individual Tea Party 
constituents themselves of the intrusive, abusive questions and 
information that was being demanded by the IRS.
  The Lanier Tea Party Patriots from Georgia also heard about the 
widespread, massive abuse of Tea Parties that applied for legal status. 
So yet another group of people was silenced by the partisan, abusive 
Internal Revenue Service.

  As I said, I know numerous employees of the IRS that would never 
think of being abusive like this. It is completely an anomaly to their 
way of thinking. It is counterintuitive to everything they have been 
taught and trained. But somehow this administration comes in and all of 
a sudden they see the IRS as the greatest political gift any partisan 
group could ever have and they use and abuse it after consulting, as 
ordered, by the President of the United States. They are ordered to 
have secret meetings with union bosses before they make decisions, 
which we now know occurred before they made decisions to go after the 
Tea Parties.
  So the President of the United States signs Executive Order 13522 and 
orders an agency that is supposed to be completely nonpartisan, 
nonpolitical, to meet with an extremely political, extremely partisan 
boss before they make decisions. It is staggering.
  So we know there's some that ask, Did the President know, did he not 
know? When you see that the President of the United States ordered 
meetings with partisan union bosses before decisions could be made by 
administrative heads at the IRS, it doesn't seem to me to matter much 
whether the President knew that they specifically targeted the Tea 
Parties. He ordered them to meet and to take in consideration what the 
union bosses said. If he ordered that those be completely confidential 
and beyond the scope of Freedom of Information Act requests, then there 
has to be some responsibility taken where the buck ultimately stops.

                              {time}  1350

  The Rowan County Tea Party in Tennessee--hopefully I'm saying that 
correctly--the good folks there filed for 501(c)(4) status in February 
of 2010. They received demands for excessive amounts of information, 
some of which is not required by law whatsoever.
  Just 2 weeks ago, after over 3 years, and being kept out of the 2012 
election cycle, having any input--not just on the President's race, but 
on issues--they didn't care about political candidates; they cared 
about issues. They knew if they could form these political Tea Parties, 
they could have an effect. Whether it was a Democrat, Republican, a 
Libertarian or an Independent that came forward, they knew that if they 
were a group as a Tea Party, they could get powerful enough and have 
their voices heard loudly, as they spoke loudly enough as a group, that 
somebody--Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Independent--somebody 
would step forward and say I support what you believe, and I'm with you 
on the issues.
  They were not about a party. They spent a lot of time being mad at 
the Republican Party, like I do. They weren't about a party; they were 
about the process. They wanted a constitutional country and a 
government that acted within the confines of the Constitution. And the 
IRS was determined to subjugate them, to punish them, to abuse them, 
and abuse the process of the IRS to make them pay for having the 
audacity to speak up or try to speak up, as did our Founders.
  I can't help but note, I was tickled, some left-wing drone 
organization--drone basically being unmanned; they're not using their 
brains; they're just doing as they're directed--came after me for 
saying here on the floor, gee, the IRS might have shot the original Tea 
Party participants. Well, obviously that's hyperbole. But I found in 
Washington if you use sarcasm, you speak metaphorically, allegorically, 
use hyperbole, that it's often lost here.
  We were having a discussion, for example, about endangered species. 
And I mentioned, gee, I understood--wasn't sure if it was true--but I 
understood there had been a pair of spotted owls that we were told for 
years couldn't mate anywhere but virgin woods, untouched by human 
hands, that may have been seen mating in a Kmart sign. In sheer 
sarcasm, in irony, I said, you know, a lot of Kmarts have been out of 
business. Maybe we need to see if that's really true and, if so, maybe 
get Kmart signs and see if they ought to be declared endangered and 
maybe have a Kmart sign forest where these little owls could mate like 
crazy out there in the Kmart sign.
  And I look over at people and reporters, folks sitting there, and you 
could see people looking at each other: Do you think he's serious? 
Anyway, it's an interesting place to--not live, but work here in 
Washington, D.C.
  You have the Rochester Tea Party Patriots in Minnesota. They filed 
for 501(c)(3) status in August 2010. The group finally received their 

[[Page H2947]]

status 2 years later in 2012, but not soon enough to have the kind of 
effect that they could have to make nominees, potential nominees, 
accountable for abiding by the rule of law and following the 
Constitution, as they wanted to do.
  The Chattanooga Tea Party in Tennessee, they filed for 501(c)(4) 
status in November of 2009. The group received a letter from the 
Cincinnati IRS office in July 2010 with extensive, intrusive, abusive 
questions and demands. After 4 years, they received notification that 
they were approved. Apparently, as this scandal was about to break, the 
IRS realized, gee, well, we got what we wanted; we kept them out of the 
12 election cycle so they could not have any influence whatsoever 
there. And we're about to get in trouble, so why don't we start giving 
approval to some of these folks. And we're seeing that happen.
  The San Angelo Tea Party--the town that my parents lived in briefly 
right after they got married, San Angelo Tea Party back in Texas--they 
filed for tax-exempt status. But after receiving the intrusive, 
abusive, mean-spirited demand for information that the IRS had no 
business inquiring after, they withdrew their application. Once again, 
the IRS didn't have a chilling effect; they had a freezing effect. 
Froze them out and kept them from being able to participate as a group 
in the 2012 election cycle.
  The San Fernando Valley Patriots in California filed for 501(c)(4) 
status in the fall of 2010. The group heard nothing from the IRS until 
February of 2012, when they received a packet from the IRS in the mail 
giving the group a 20-day time period to respond. After the abuse, the 
demands, the intrusiveness, the outrageous activity of the IRS, the San 
Fernando Valley Patriots in California finally, in August of 2012, felt 
like they had no choice but to crater under the abusive weight and 
power of a partisan, mean-spirited IRS leadership; and they pulled 
their application in order to protect their members from this kind of 
  So you've got to say, the executive order in 2009 by the President of 
the United States--current President--ordering the extremely partisan 
union bosses to be consulted on decisions by the IRS, find out that the 
union boss met with the President right before the decision was made as 
well. I guess when you're the President, you don't have to sign an 
executive order requiring that you have secret, confidential meetings 
with union bosses before you make decisions. You just do it, appears to 
be the case.
  Then we find out, gee--and this is a brand-new story, this one by 
David French dated May 22, yesterday afternoon--that it wasn't just Tea 
Parties; it wasn't just constitutional groups; it wasn't just pro-
Israel groups. The article title is ``IRS Morality: Defend Planned 
Parenthood, Deluge Adoptive Families With Audits.'' In the article, 
skimming on down, it says:

       During the 2012 filing season, 90 percent of the returns 
     that claimed a refundable adoption credit were subject to 
     additional review to determine if an examination was 

                              {time}  1400

       The most common reasons were income and a lack of 

  It notes that:

       Sixty-nine percent of all adoption credit claims during the 
     2012 filing season were selected for audit.
       Of the completed adoption tax credit audits, over 55 
     percent ended with no change in the tax owed or refund due in 
     fiscal year 2012. The median refund amount involved in these 
     audits was over $15,000 and the median adjusted gross income 
     of the taxpayers involved is about $64,000.

  These would be considered middle class Americans.

       The average adoption credit correspondence audit currently 
     takes 126 days, causing a lengthy delay for taxpayers waiting 
     for refunds.

  It's interesting because we get word--as the article said--that the 
IRS has harassed a number of pro-life groups, including at least one 
alleged demand that a pro-life group not picket Planned Parenthood in 
order to have or keep their tax exempt status.
  It points out this statistic:

       In 2012, the IRS requested additional information from 90 
     percent of returns claiming the adoption tax credit and went 
     on to actually audit 69 percent.

  And that more details can be obtained from the Taxpayer Advocate 
  It's really outrageous. And it's pretty clear to anybody familiar 
with the political process here in Washington that most people that are 
very supportive of adoption are not in favor of abortion. So if you 
want to go against--as the IRS, if you want to go after the opponents 
of Planned Parenthood, you want to go after the opponents of killing 
babies in utero, then if you go after parents that adopt children--a 
very, very costly process--you can have a very chilling or freezing 
effect on those parents who just want to adopt a child, adopt children, 
give them a loving home.
  And this IRS' morality--as the article points out, because of the 
current leadership that is now under scrutiny--go after these middle-
income folks that are not supportive of abortion and want to adopt, 
we'll teach them a lesson. It's very clear, it just screams from the 
statistics and information that we get from the IRS.
  It's also worth noting--as prior articles have--that people have 
claimed, not the adoptive tax credit, but the child tax credit has been 
claimed--as has been shown many times--by people who did not legally 
come into the country. And there have been articles about that. Of 
course, I guess, everybody knows they'll never get a Pulitzer Prize for 
incredible investigative reporting on the billions of dollars that may 
be obtained by people who come into the country illegally and then have 
learned you can claim a tax credit and get more money back than you put 
in. Oh, no, even if you don't have a Social Security number--as the law 
currently requires--to get that child tax credit, the IRS thought: Hey, 
we've got a good idea, we don't care that Congress said you've got to 
have a Social Security number, hey, we want to get all the tax income 
in we can, and we hear from some of the folks in Congress that there 
are people somewhere out there in the shadows, so we'll just give them 
a taxpayer number, even if they don't have a Social Security number, 
and let them get that child tax credit from there. So there are plenty 
of people that have come out of the so-called shadows to claim a child 
tax credit.
  That's why Robert Rector, in talking with him this week, he says the 
projection probably that if people who are here undocumented, 
illegally, whatever you want to call it, are given legal status, then 
it will likely cost the country around $10 billion that these 
individuals will be able to get back in child tax credit once they're 
legally here and that many are getting even now. An estimated $1 
billion--one estimate I read was $4 billion--that we're currently 
paying out from the Treasury to people that are getting more back than 
they paid in who are not legally here, don't have a Social Security 
  So they're not going after those folks. Not auditing, not going in 
and demanding to know where are all these children you claim to get all 
this money back--$20,000, $30,000 you're getting back from the 
government for a child tax credit--where are all the children? Oh, no, 
they're not going after them. No. They much prefer to go after what 
some of these partisan political leaders in the IRS see as their 
political enemies.
  When you have people like that heading up the IRS, you don't have to 
have an enemies list, like Richard Nixon had. You've got your friends 
at the IRS that are doing it for you.
  So when we hear claims of outrage and we see that these people have 
suffered absolutely no consequences from this President--the boss--as a 
result of their outrageous, illegal, unconstitutional activity, then it 
seems that maybe the outrage is not as loud as we were being told that 
it originally has been.
  And then when you find out that the AP--certainly hasn't helped me 
any, but that doesn't matter, we're supposed to have a free press--if 
they want to go after a guy that's conservative that has a southern 
accent, that's their prerogative. But we find out that the White 
House--the Justice Department at least--the Justice Department went 
after the AP, just like they did Rosen at Fox News, they go after the 
AP and get hundreds of phone numbers because they say they're after 
this egregious leak. The Attorney General told our committee last week, 
Gee, it's one of the most egregious leaks--not the most egregious, one 
of the most egregious

[[Page H2948]]

leaks--he had ever seen. Turns out all of the leaks that allow him to 
go after a conservative group or to intimidate a group like the AP, to 
them they're egregious. When we find out, Mr. Speaker, he could have 
just looked at the records of a handful of people in the 
administration--he chose not to do that, it might have embarrassed the 
administration--he abuses the freedom of the press.
  It's time that people who are responsible are made accountable.
  With that, Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.