Republicans' Latest Attack on Obamacare Involves IRS
(CNSNews.com) - The effort to derail Obamacare may run through the Internal Revenue Service, House Republican leaders say.
Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) says, "Republicans are really gearing up for one big week next week," when they plan to introduce a bill -- one of 11 -- that would remove the IRS as the enforcer of Obamacare.
"We know what's going on at the IRS," Cantor told Fox News's Greta Van Susteren Wednesday night. "We know there (is) a lot of evidence...to demonstrate there is a political witch hunt going on in the tax enforcement agency, and yet that agency now is going to be into your healthcare records and help implement Obamacare. That's not something we want."
The Treasury Department inspector general recently reported that the IRS gave inappropriate scrutiny to conservative groups filing applications for tax-exempt status, delaying many of those applications for months -- in some cases, beyond the 2012 presidential election.
Under the Affordable Care Act, the IRS will tax individuals who fail to buy health insurance, as the law requires; and it will penalize businesses that don't follow the law's requirements for providing affordable health insurance to employees.
"This law is flawed," Cantor said. "It's not the direction we want the health care to go in this country, and, in fact, it's damaging the economy. In fact, union leaders themselves said this law is going to create nightmare scenarios for millions of Americans that are at work and will create and wreak havoc on their health care.
"So again, we say no to Obamacare, but no to the IRS and Obamacare. They have to rethink the whole thing, because we think this thing is past its prime, we need to get rid of it. But right now I think the ire is pointed at the IRS. How in the world are we going to let the IRS in your health care records?"
Cantor said the Obama administration, in delaying Obamacare's employer mandate for one year, essentially is admitting that the law is flawed. But Cantor did not address the option of House Republicans trying to defund Obamacare when the continuing resolution, which currently keeps the government operating, expires in September.
Cantor said the Obamacare-IRS bill is just one of eleven that House Republicans plan to introduce next week -- which happens to be the week before Congress begins its month-long summer recess.
The package of bills addresses what Republicans call wasteful government spending: One would ensure that "those lavish retreats and conferences being held by agencies won't happen anymore" by requiring a senior official to sign off on them before they happen.
Although President Obama could curb wasteful spending on conferences by executive order, he won't do it, Cantor said, because "the president is off giving speeches right now. He's not here in Washington."
"Another bill in this package for next week says, look, we've got Lois Lerner, who is responsible for a lot of the conduct and oversaw a lot of the suspicious conduct at the IRS. Right now she's under investigation. And you know what, though? Taxpayers are still paying her. There is not the ability under the law to put her on unpaid leave. Very simple -- let's do it. Again, the president could easily take care of that as well, but he's too busy off giving speeches right now, not helping anybody."