House GOP measure blocks IRS on political groups

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 17, 2014 at 11:15 am •  Published: June 17, 2014
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The IRS and the Treasury Department had said they wanted to prohibit groups from using "candidate-related political activity" like running ads, registering voters or distributing campaign literature as activities that qualify them to be tax-exempt "social welfare" organizations.

Under current rules, social welfare organizations may conduct some political work as long as it's not their main activity. The proposed new rules would block such things as running ads that "expressly advocate for a clearly identified political candidate or candidates of a political party" as fulfilling their tax-exempt mission. Ads that simply mention a politician to, for instance, urge him or her to vote a certain way couldn't be run 60 days before a general election or 30 days before a primary.

The rules also would limit voter drives and voter registration efforts and distribution of literature.

Congress passed a stand-alone measure to block the IRS from issuing the rules for a year. The Democratic-controlled Senate has ignored it.

Tuesday's legislation also would cut the IRS' budget by $1.5 billion below President Barack Obama's request, sending it to Bush administration levels.