IRS Delays New Rules That Regulate Nonprofit Groups Like the Tea Party, ABC and NBC Spike News

The major news, announced on Thursday, that the IRS is going back to the drawing board on proposed rules that would’ve regulated political activity for groups like the Tea Party was ignored by two of the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks. Only CBS, on Friday’s CBS This Morning, covered the agency’s backtracking in a 19-second Charlie Rose brief.

According to Friday’s New York Times the delay, coming in the wake of the IRS/Tea Party scandal, was made  “after receiving 150,000 comments — both positive and negative — about the proposal, the biggest public response to any proposed rule in its history.”

The May 22 online story, that appeared in the May 23 print version of the New York Times, reported the following:

The Internal Revenue Service said Thursday that it has delayed and is revamping new rules intended to curb political activity by tax-exempt groups and that were proposed after the agency was accused last year of targeting Tea Party groups.

The I.R.S. said it made the decision after receiving 150,000 comments — both positive and negative — about the proposal, the biggest public response to any proposed rule in its history. The decision postpones public hearings originally expected for this summer.

The proposal is intended to clarify how the I.R.S. defines political activity and how much nonprofit groups are allowed to spend on it. Nonprofit groups ranging from Americans for Prosperity, a free-market grass-roots organization co-founded by the billionaires Charles and David Koch, to the League of Conservation Voters, an environmental organization that chiefly supports Democrats, are expected to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in the battle for control of Congress in November. The delay announced Thursday means the new rules will not be in place before Election Day.

The following brief, aired on the May 23 edition of CBS This Morning is the only mention, so far, of the delay on the Big Three networks:

CHARLIE ROSE: The New York Times says the IRS is delaying new rules. They’re aimed at curbing political activity by groups that want to be tax exempt. The proposal comes after accusations that the IRS targeted Tea Party-backed organizations. But hearings on the overhaul are on hold after overwhelming public response. 

Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens is the Deputy Research Director at the Media Research Center.