Lerner helped craft new IRS political crackdown

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Politics,Chris Stirewalt,Power Play

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Buzz Cut:
• Lerner helped craft new IRS political crackdown
• Employers ready ObamaCare insurance cuts
• Obama: I can help Dems ‘in some parts of some states’
• Clinton super PAC won’t help hold Senate
• Big mouth saves the day

The official at the center of the IRS scandal involving the targeting of President Obama’s political enemies secretly helped craft new rules for the agency that critics say would make such heavy-handed tactics legal. Emails obtained by the House Ways and Means Committee show IRS executive Lois Lerner working on the new rules in secret with Obama Treasury officials at the height of the targeting. Lerner has refused to testify before Congress amid the criminal investigation into misconduct at the agency. The regulations, which are currently pending, would allow the IRS to crack down on political activity by non-profit groups. A June 2012 email from a Treasury official to Lerner suggests that they work “off plan” –bureaucratic shorthand for keeping their meetings off of publicly available schedules – to devise the rules. Critics say the rules that resulted would permit agents to shut down dissent by non-profit groups.

[Daily Caller - “The American Civil Liberties Union… stated its ‘serious concerns with the [proposed IRS regulations]… from a First Amendment perspective,’ saying that ‘the proposed rule threatens to discourage or sterilize an enormous amount of political discourse in America.’”]

Washington Examiner: “…a Duke University survey of top companies found that 44 percent are considering reducing health benefits to current employees due to Obamacare, confirming the fears of millions of American workers…Duke also found that nearly half are ‘reluctant to hire full-time employees because of the Affordable Care Act.’ And 40 percent are considering shifting to part-time workers and others will hire fewer workers of fire some to avoid the costs of the program.”

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Chris Stirewalt
FOX News