Tom Reed seldom explains his votes. On Tuesday, June 14, the House considered H.R. 5053, Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act. Under current law, the IRS requires certain tax exempt organizations to file a form which details all donors who have contributed over $5,000 in one year. The information is kept on file by the IRS, but not released publicly for certain organizations. H.R. 5053 reverses that policy, prohibiting the IRS from collecting any of this information. This could make it easier for interested parties to direct funds to political campaigns without any disclosure. Some tax exempt organizations, such as 501(c)(4) entities are not prohibited from participating in political activities. This legislation also raises the possibility that foreign interests could finance political efforts covertly since the only real deterrent for that is the oversight from the IRS. If no disclosure is required, there is nothing standing in the way of an increase in secret and potentially illegal political spending. H.R. 5053 passed on a party line vote. Voting with his party, Rep. Reed, as one might expect, voted AYE.
The GOP, irresponsibly, often campaigns against the IRS as if taxes were unnecessary. Tom Reed, with a poor record of paying his taxes on time, joins with his fellows. This isn’t the first time that Reed has voted for bills hindering the IRS from performing its duties.