On Tuesday the Democratic leadership in the chamber blocked a resolution by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) to investigate the federal agency and fire all people responsible for improperly targeting conservative organizations.
“President Obama should terminate the individuals responsible for targeting and willfully discriminating against Tea Party groups and other conservative groups,” the resolution states.
His resolution also demanded an investigation “to determine if other entities in the administration of President Obama were involved in or were aware of the discrimination and did not take action to stop the actions of the Internal Revenue Service.”
The freshman senator asserted that he introduced the legislation to protect the First Amendment rights of the American people, and not to drive attention to the partisan nature of the scandal.
“This resolution is not about Republican vs. Democrat or conservative vs. liberal,” Paul said in a statement. “It is about arrogant and unrestrained government vs. the rule of law. The First Amendment cannot and should not be renegotiated depending on which party holds power.”
“Each senator took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, yet Senate Democrats chose to block my resolution and thus refused to condemn the IRS for trampling on our First Amendment rights,” he continued. “I am incredibly disappointed in Washington’s party politics and I am determined to hold the IRS accountable for these unjust acts.”
While Paul is personally a member of the Tea Party movement, he had previously acknowledged that he was offended by the IRS’s actions.
“I’m offended when any kind of government entity targets people for their political or religious beliefs,” Paul said at an Iowa GOP fundraiser, “so it’s, you know, particularly offensive, since I’m one of the groups they were targeting. They didn’t audit me personally, but, you know, government should never be used to bully people.”