Representative Jim McDermott (D., Wash.) argued on Tuesday that tea-party groups brought the IRS’s scrutiny upon themselves.
“If you didn’t come in and ask for this tax break, you would have never have had a question asked of you,” McDermott said at a hearing of the House Ways and Means Committee, where representatives from several tea-party groups targeted by the agency testified. “You could go out there and say whatever you want in the world.”
McDermott argued that applying for tax-exempt status constitutes ”asking the American public to pay for [your] work.”
When McDermott’s time expired, Paul Ryan challenged the Democrat’s points, for which Ryan received a round of applause. “Welcome to Washington,” Ryan said. “So you’re to blame, I guess is the message here.”