By , Susan Ferrechio
Published June 11, 2016
House Republicans will call up legislation to the floor next week aimed at blocking the Internal Revenue Service from asking about or learning the identity of people who contribute money to nonprofit groups.
The "Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting free Speech Act" will get a vote following the revelation that the IRS in 2012 leaked to the media the identities of donors to the National Organization for Marriage. The list included then-GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., would prohibit the IRS from requesting the identity of contributors to 501(c) organizations as part of the groups' annual returns.
Republicans say the bill is needed to stop an IRS pattern of targeting conservative groups. A Treasury Department watchdog found conservative and Tea Party groups were singled out for additional scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status prior to the 2012 election, and the Romney leak, they say, showed that nothing can stop the IRS from making inappropriate political decisions when it wants.