The Obama administration’s proposed crackdown on tea party and other nonprofit groups that want to play a role in politics is quietly crumbling as opposition builds across the political spectrum to new IRS rules.
Almost all of the nearly 70,000 public comments submitted as of Monday night were vehemently opposed to the proposal, which would limit the ability of social welfare nonprofits — those organized under 501(c)(4) of the tax code — to even talk about candidates in the two months before an election.
Conservatives have been battling the Internal Revenue Service, with the Republican-controlled House planning votes this week to try to halt the rules. But opposition from the other side of the political spectrum also is growing as liberal groups take a deeper look at the rules and realize they would affect more than just tea party and high-dollar conservative organizations.
The American Civil Liberties Union said the proposed rule “threatens to discourage or sterilize an enormous amount of political discourse in America.”
The Alliance for Justice, a coalition of more than 100 progressive groups, was opposed from the start. It led a signature drive on a letter asking the IRS to withdraw the series of changes, which it called “a very deep and troubling line in the sand.”