May 16th, 2013
11:35 AM ET
1 year ago

After IRS targeting, tea party says their fears confirmed

Washington (CNN) – After some of their political groups were targeted for extra scrutiny by the Internal Revenue Service, members of the tea party say they feel a new justification for their claims of government overreach and big government.

Speaking at a rally on Capitol Hill Thursday, Rep. Michele Bachmann said the IRS's actions – which resulted in the resignation of the acting commissioner of the agency – could reflect a greater undercurrent of political misdeeds being carried out by the federal government. She specifically cited the president's health care law as a measure rife with opportunities to play political games.

"Knowing it's the IRS who will be the enforcing mechanism for this new entitlement program of Obamacare, it is very important to ask – and now it is reasonable to ask – could there be potential political implications of access to healthcare, denial of healthcare? Will that happen based upon a person's political beliefs, or their religiously held beliefs?" asked Bachmann at the rally, which was attended by senators and representatives who were elected to office with support of tea party groups.

"Those questions would have been considered out of bounds a week ago," continued the Minnesota Republican and 2012 candidate for the GOP presidential nomination, who herself worked at the IRS as an attorney at the beginning of her career. "Today these questions are considered more than reasonable, and more than fair for the American people.

Tea party groups have long been wary of the president's health care law, and Republicans in Congress will vote for the thirty-seventh time to repeal the measure on Thursday.

The groups have also been skeptical of government overreach into the personal lives of citizens, a fact lawmakers at Thursday's rally linked to the Justice Department seizure of phone records from reporters and editors at the Associated Press.

Those revelations coincided with renewed interest in September's attack at an American diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya – long a rallying cry for tea party members who use it to claim incompetence and deception from Obama's national security team.

Combined, the events of the last several days appeared to confirm in the minds of tea party Republicans their longstanding sense the government is working against them.

"The three events of the last few days – the IRS, the AP, and Benghazi – tend to confirm our worst fears about our government," Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said at Thursday's rally. "They tend to tell us what we don't want to believe, but what sometimes turns out to be true. That your government is targeting you. That your government is spying on you. And that your government is lying to you."

At least one lawmaker, Bachmann, even floated the notion of impeachment during the event, saying what happened at the IRS was a scandal worse than Watergate, the criminal incident that brought down President Richard Nixon.

"As I have been home in my district, in the sixth district of Minnesota, there hasn't been a weekend that's gone by without someone saying, 'Michelle, what in the world are you all waiting for in Congress. Why aren't you impeaching the president. He's been making unconstitutional actions since he's been in Congress,'" she said.

Obama's response to the mess – including demanding the resignation of acting IRS commissioner Steven Miller – has only scratched the surface, said Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.

"Someone needs to be held responsible. Someone needs to be imprisoned. Someone needs to be prosecuted," said Paul, who won election with tea party support in 2010 and has said he's eyeing a run for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. "The resignation is a step in the right direction, but we need to find out who wrote this policy, who approved this policy, and they need to be held accountable."

Bachmann, citing reports Miller has planned to step down in June anyway, described the resignation as a "canard" meant to allay citizens' fears without truly addressing the problem.

"Yesterday the president engaged in damage control 101," she said. "He wanted to stop the story because the president's had a no good, very bad week this last week."


Filed under: Michele Bachmann • Tea Party
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    Palin , Bachmann , Cruz , Issa , don't want to loose there non profit donations " , money laundering , free meal , keep people in fear , they will send you money .

    The non profit system needs to change , its corrupt , ask Jack Abramoff .

    May 16, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  2. Honestly?

    Tea Party groups are tax exempt? You have got to be kidding me. How is this a scandal? They ARE a political party. They have representation (I remember watching Bachmann running down the hall to their very first special caucus) in Congress, no? They should be paying taxes. I can see why they were looked at more closely. Another bag of GOP garbage.

    May 16, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  3. Danee76

    The Democrat Party: the party that thinks its ok for the IRS to target citizens, businesses and organizations for their political beliefs. I assume that you won't be upset if a Republican wins the next election and orders the IRS to go after liberal groups like media matters and moveon that are exactly the same?

    May 16, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  4. Larry in Houston

    this lady must be nuts – I guess if someone wakes up the voters in the 6th district in MN – they don't know what is actually going on – maybe someone could educate the "6th district" of MN – with some civics 101 – or just a little bit of good 'ol current politics. lol

    May 16, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  5. Thomas

    @Palin Power
    The IRS has committed sacrilege by taxing the Tea Party. The Tea party is a party of God and should never be taxed like the way the IRS tried to tax them. Taxing the Tea Party is taxing God and nobody taxes God.

    ==========

    Muslim extremist say the same thing about there God .

    Your both Dangerous !

    Palin / Bachmann 2016

    Allah Akbar or Allah Ekber ?

    May 16, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  6. Fair is Fair

    Colorado

    Not one application was denied their "most favored status". These tea party trolls are just upset because they ALMOST had to actually pay taxes and we know they don't want that. They are the takers of this country.
    --------
    Fully 63% of the applications, after 30+ months of being stonewalled (versus a norm of 6-9 months), have either been withdrawn or are still awaiting adjudication. You are aware of that, correct?

    May 16, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  7. Data Driven

    True, Michele, about Obama's week. But it's better than having a no-good, very bad intellect.

    May 16, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  8. rs

    Their fears? What about their brains?!

    Did they think that anti-tax, anti-government arms of the Republican Party would just gat a wave-by asking for tax-exempt status as social welfare organizations?

    They should have been turned down flat-

    May 16, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    Fully 63% of the applications, after 30+ months of being stonewalled (versus a norm of 6-9 months), have either been withdrawn or are still awaiting adjudication. You are aware of that, correct?
    --------------------------
    I would conclude that the withdrawn applications were withdrawn for good reasons. The simple truth is that the vast majority of these so called "patriot" applications that have been submitted since 2010 have been approved. Time. Your media sources are ignoring time frames.

    May 16, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  10. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    Fully 63% of the applications, after 30+ months of being stonewalled (versus a norm of 6-9 months), have either been withdrawn or are still awaiting adjudication. You are aware of that, correct?
    --------–
    I would conclude that the withdrawn applications were withdrawn for good reasons. The simple truth is that the vast majority of these so called "patriot" applications that have been submitted since 2010 have been approved. Time. Your media sources are ignoring time frames.
    -----–
    Pure spin. Pure, unadulterated spin.

    May 16, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    Pure spin. Pure, unadulterated spin.
    -----------------–
    Facts don't spin. They're rock solid pure. Beyond reproach.

    May 16, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  12. Ltcskid

    We're not forgetting that Obama's brother was given tax exempt status for his "charity" within 30 days. We're also not forgetting that Lois Lerner not only authorized it personally, she went ahead and made his application, filed in 2011, retroactive to 2008, so he wouldn't be tried (and convicted) for illegally soliciting U.S. funds on his website claiming his "charity" as a tax exempt organization since 2008. VA law, where his "charity" is based clearly states you must apply before you advertise your "charity" as such. Mr. Obama's brother's "charity" is in in the name of their mutual Father. Brother Obama apparently wants to hold a government office in Kenya. Ms. Lerner is the one that publicly apologized for the IRS activities, she also had her husband hold a fund raiser through his law firm for Mr. Obama. But that's okay, because her co-workers say, "she's the most apolitical person we know!" Country First, folks...Party (a distant) Second!

    May 16, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    Filed under: "Just because we're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get us."

    Yawn.

    May 16, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    " "They tend to tell us what we don't want to believe,"

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Really? What you don't want to believe? What you've been screaming daily about every single aspect of government ever since a black man was sworn in and despite there being no evidence whatsoever to back up your claims...that's what you "don't want to believe"? And now a couple of low level employees applied broken standards while austerity measures/defunding and a massive influx of applications after Citizens United caused administrative problems in the agency is all the proof needed that every single bit of it you were screaming from November 4, 2008 forward was true...but of course, you "didn't want to believe it" all along? These people don't even listen to themselves speak.

    May 16, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
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