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Senator Rubio Pushes For Criminal Penalties For Guilty IRS Employees

May 14, 2013 | Press Releases

Rubio on Senate floor: “Yesterday I called for the president to ask for the resignation of the acting chief of the IRS. I asked that there be a criminal investigation launched in this matter which Attorney General Holder has announced today. … This issue will not go away and cannot go away because of the importance of it.”

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the growing scandal at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and his legislation to add criminal penalties for IRS employees who target political organizations. On Monday, Rubio urged the Administration to fully cooperate with both congressional investigations and potential criminal inquiries. Today, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that he had ordered a criminal investigation.  

Senator Rubio’s legislation is available online here. The bill now has 11 co-sponsors, including Senators Dan Coats (R-IN), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Dean Heller (R-NV), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Jim Risch (R-ID), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), David Vitter (R-LA), and Roger Wicker (R-MS).

Excerpts of U.S. Senate Floor Speech
Senator Marco Rubio
May 14, 2013
Full Speech: http://youtu.be/3x_SBhwgLnU

Senator Marco Rubio: “We were all scandalized over the last 72 hours to learn that the Internal Revenue Service of the United States, and employees within the Internal Revenue Service, were targeting fellow Americans and political organizations because of their political views. I think the scandal, quite frankly, the feelings we have [are] bipartisan because – I hope it is – because I don’t think any of us want to see an agency of government being used to target our fellow Americans because of their points of view on a political issue. It is a very serious issue. Yesterday I called for the president to ask for the resignation of the acting chief of the IRS. I asked that there be a criminal investigation launched in this matter which Attorney General Holder has announced today. And so that’s why I have prepared an amendment that I think is timely and I hope we will consider in this body. And that is an amendment that makes it a crime for an employee of the IRS to target individual taxpayers or organizations because of their political views.”

Rubio: “But let me just close by saying that we need to understand what has happened here over the last 72 hours, what we found out. Employees of the Internal Revenue Service made a decision that they were going to specifically target groups that had things like ‘tea party’ and the word ‘patriot’ in their organization, groups that looked to do things like protect the Constitution of the United States. This is outrageous. And there is growing evidence that higher ups, significant people in the IRS, knew about this and were not disclosing that to members of Congress. Members of this body were asking the IRS directly, ‘Are you involved in this? Is this happening?’ And they were not giving them information that we now knew they had. So I will not object to this unanimous consent request because of the importance of this issue, but this issue will not go away and cannot go away because of the importance of it.”