Opinion

IRS gearing up to target more conservatives in 2014 elections, Mitch McConnell says

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Joel Gehrke,Barack Obama,Tea Party,Mitch McConnell,IRS,Eric Holder,Ted Cruz,Nonprofits

IRS officials are working on a rule change that would legitimize the kind of political targeting of conservatives that the agency apologized for last year, just in time for the 2014 elections, according to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

"Democrats think 2014 is shaping up to be a tough year for them politically," the Kentucky Republican said in a Senate floor speech Thursday morning. "So instead of trying to persuade the public that they’ve got the best answers to the problems we face, they try to shut everybody else out of the political process — they try to shut them up."

"Under current rules, social welfare organizations may conduct some political work as long as it is not their main activity," Fox News explained in November. "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."

McConnell's criticism of the proposal comes one day after Attorney General Eric Holder told Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, that Americans have no reason to doubt that a thorough investigation of IRS targeting of Tea Party groups during the 2012 election cycle is underway.

“I don't have any basis to believe that the people who engaged in this investigation are doing so in a way other than investigations are normally done," Holder said during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. "That is by looking at the facts, applying the law to those facts, and reaching the appropriate conclusion. I don't have any basis to believe anything other than that is occurring.”

Cruz wants a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS. "I would suggest that any special prosecutor should have integrity beyond reproach, and not be a major Obama donor,” he told Holder.

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