IRS Barred From Issuing Regulations On Dark Money Through 2016
December 19, 2015

This is why Republicans passed the budget conservatives hate. Just enough poison pills in it that didn't make enough people angry enough to make noise and stop it.

Here's one that has to have the Kochtopus toasting the future. While I don't especially agree with Politico framing this as something the administration caved on, given that both branches of Congress had to approve it first, it's still a disappointment.

Here's the gist: There will be no regulations issued by the IRS with regard to non-profit organizations through 2016.

Closing the so-called social-welfare loophole — which exempts the groups from federal tax and disclosure requirements — was one of the most urgent priorities of campaign-finance reformers in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision in the Citizens United case. But then the IRS came under fire for holding up conservative groups applying for the social-welfare tax exemption, and many Republicans cried foul.


Top lawmakers, including Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, have repeatedly warned IRS Commissioner John Koskinen to abandon the agency's efforts to clarify the social-welfare rule. Now they’ve forced his hand, just as the 2016 campaign is heating up and groups like Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS on the right and American Bridge 21st Century Foundation on the left are poised to dump unprecedented sums into the presidential race and other campaigns.

Since this article is fairly unintelligible, let me try and explain better. The IRS has tried to issue regulations closing the door on political activity by 501(c)(4) organizations. This rider bars them from any regulatory activity on that subject through 2016. I cannot recall another circumstance where Congress has actually barred the IRS from using its regulatory authority to deal with tax matters. It's remarkable, and a portent of things to come if we don't toss some of these Republicans out.

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