March 09,2012

Press Contact:

Julia Lawless, Antonia Ferrier, 202.224.4515

Hatch on Democrats Pressuring IRS on 501(c)(4) Organizations

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, issued the following statement today after a group of Senate Democrats indicated that they were sending the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) a letter urging the agency to take action on non-profit 501(c)(4) organizations:

“Politics must not play any role in the IRS’ decision-making process.  Unfortunately, this request from the other side of the aisle puts the IRS in an untenable and unacceptable situation for what I hope are not political ends. It’s pretty hard not to draw that conclusion since the White House and its congressional allies are talking out of both sides of their mouths by accepting unprecedented sums of big labor and rich liberal money.  I also find the timing somewhat suspect – we never heard a peep from the other side in previous election cycles when they were reaping the benefits of these types of organizations.  Sending the IRS on a politically-motivated witch hunt is simply unacceptable and could have a chilling impact on the constitutionally-protected right to free speech.  I expect the IRS not to succumb to this type of political posturing.”

NOTE: Last year, the IRS for the first time in decades invoked a rarely used provision enforcing the gift tax on contributions to 501(c)(4) organizations. Hatch led a group of Senate Finance Committee Republicans in a letter to IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman requesting additional information about what communications the IRS has had with the White House and other executive branch agencies regarding the decision and how it could impact constitutionally protected First Amendment rights.