Jun 13, 2016

Freedom Partners Applauds House Leaders for Putting to a Floor Vote Rep. Roskam’s Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act (H.R. 5053)

Post by Derek Yale

Arlington, VA – Today, Freedom Partners applauded the U.S. House of Representatives’ leadership for scheduling consideration of H.R. 5053, the Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act, reaffirming Americans’ right to free speech and association by protecting them from political targeting and intimidation by the federal government.

This bill would repeal the Internal Revenue Service requirement that nonprofit organizations submit a Schedule B (private donor information) as part of their Form 990 annual returns.

The bill’s passage is particularly important in light of new efforts by Senate Democrats to rewrite the First Amendment, and to force charities and other nonprofits to report their donors’ private giving to the government. These efforts are designed to discourage free speech and chill unpopular opinions.

Freedom Partners Chairman Mark Holden issued the following statement:

“We are grateful that Speaker Ryan, Chairman Brady, Majority Whip Scalise and Rep. Roskam have shown strong leadership in putting this bill on the House floor for a vote.  It is another important step toward reaffirming Americans’ natural right to free speech and association, while protecting them from threats, harassment and intimidation because of their personal beliefs. The IRS’ targeting of conservative and free market organizations was a despicable abuse of power designed to silence individuals and groups by eroding our fundamental freedoms of free expression and association.

“We thank the House Republican leadership, as well as Senate Majority Leader McConnell, for continuing to defend our natural rights of free speech and association against those who want to undermine it.  Keeping and protecting First Amendment rights for all Americans, regardless of political views or affiliations, is an ongoing and increasingly difficult struggle.  This is because of the relentless attacks from politicians like Hillary Clinton, Senators Schumer, Warren, Whitehouse, Merkley, and many others on the Left who are determined to eviscerate and rewrite the First Amendment to target and limit the rights of those with whom they disagree based on partisan politics.”

Freedom Partners first announced our support for this legislation when it was introduced earlier this year.