The bad news is that the recently unveiled $1.1 trillion omnibus spending legislation does not include a provision to block new IRS rules that could limit the activities of 501(c)(4) nonprofit groups. The good news is that Representative Dave Camp (R., Mich.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, has introduced legislation that would temporarily prohibit the IRS and U.S. Treasury Department from implementing the new 501(c)(4) restrictions, which were first proposed in November of last year.
Dozens of conservative groups sent a letter to members of Congress last week urging them to block the proposed regulations, which would prohibit 501(c)(4) organizations from participating in voter registration and other get-out-the-vote activities, or taking part in candidate forums.
“The administration’s proposed rules openly target groups that are exercising their First Amendment rights,” Camp said in a statement. “We cannot allow these draft regulations to go into effect.”
Camp also argued that it was “premature” for the IRS to publish new rules before the Ways and Means Committee had completed its ongoing investigation into the agency’s inappropriate targeting of conservative groups, which was first revealed in May 2013.