On Senate Floor, Rubio Highlights Conservative Groups Targeted By IRS
Rubio: "When government's powers extend beyond its natural limits or important limits, you start to have problems like this emerge."
May 16 2013
Senator Marco Rubio
May 16, 2013
Full Speech: http://youtu.be/eJm_Lzpg0zE
Senator Marco Rubio: “It goes on and on. These are pages after pages after pages after pages of information being asked of a citizen group from the IRS. And anyone who’s gotten a letter from the IRS understands it’s never a pleasant thing unless there’s a refund check in that envelope. You go in the mailbox, you open it, it says ‘IRS’ and everyone doesn’t like that. Now just imagine this group of everyday citizens, these are not political activists, they don’t have entire law firms at their disposal, these are everyday Americans speaking out for the principles of limited government and free enterprise. And by the way, if they were speaking out in favor of big government, they would still have the same right not to be harassed by the IRS. So, I just want to bring the real face of this to bear because this is not just a problem with an abuse of power in the IRS. Think about the application this has had on the lives of everyday Americans who one day decided ‘I want to get involved in politics. I want to speak out. I want to say something.’ And you get hit with a letter like this. This kind of questionnaire, which quite frankly what happens with a lot of these groups is they just decide, ‘I’m not going to do it, I’m just not going to speak out, I’m not going to get involved, I don’t have the time for this and I don’t need the hassle.’ Maybe that was the intent.”
Rubio: “When government’s powers extend beyond its natural limits or important limits, you start to have problems like this emerge. And I bring this to the core because this is exactly what we’ve been debating here in so many instances, is expanding the natural power of government beyond where it should be and allowing it to have jurisdiction and influence over areas of our life where no matter who is in charge, Republican or Democrat, you may not like the way it turns out. We talked about the IRS for a moment. The IRS is going to be on the front lines of enforcing the health care law. So this is the same agency of government that has, for the most part, over the last few years now by admission of everyone involved, been abusing the power. At least some of their employees have, I don’t want to besmirch the entire agency. As Senator Hatch was saying a moment ago, there are very good people that work all throughout government who would never participate in this sort of behavior. But my point is this is the agency that was targeting Americans because they were organizing themselves as conservatives. This is now the agency that’s going to be empowered with new powers it’s never had before. The power to force every American to either buy health insurance or pay a fine. Buy health insurance or pay a tax. And in the weeks to come, I’m going to be outlining examples of why giving government more power than it should have creates situations like this, the potential for situations like this to occur. There was enormous wisdom in limiting the power of the federal government that our Framers had. Enormous wisdom in that. That’s why they specifically said, if this constitution doesn’t give the federal government this power, it doesn’t have it. And we sometimes forget that lesson two centuries later, but we shouldn’t. That’s an important limit. And I think we can have an honest debate about what role government should be playing in our lives and in our economy. There could be an honest debate about that because there is a role for government to play. There is an important role for government to play in our country, but it can go too far. Whether it is in the realm of civil liberties or economic liberties. And that’s what I think the debate should really be focused on in the weeks to come, in addition to getting to the bottom of what’s happened here. Understanding clearly what’s happened here.”