Responding to the revelation that the Internal Revenue Service has been targeting certain conservative organizations because of their political views, a Republican lawmaker on Capitol Hill introduced a bill Monday declaring such activities a felony for IRS employees.
“The fact that this could occur with little to no corrective action against those who seek to silence their fellow citizens is unacceptable,” Ohio Rep. Mike Turner said in a statement.
Turner’s bill, which he is calling the Taxpayer Nondiscrimination & Protection Act of 2013, would make IRS employees who engage in “discriminatory misconduct” subjected to a fine as much as $5,000 and five years in prison.
Under current law, according to Turner, IRS employees found discriminating against taxpayers can lose their jobs. Violators should also face criminal repercussions, he said.
“This is about protecting the rights of all Americans, and their ability to freely express their political thought,” Turner said.