More Party-of-No Yeses

The House passed three more bills in this short period before the mid-term election campaign recess.

One bill makes it illegal for IRS workers to use personal email accounts to conduct official business.

It’s already illegal to do this in many circumstances, as all official business communications must be recorded and saved. It’s also already contrary to IRS policy; although the IRS has ignored this policy whenever that became convenient.

This is, at bottom, an obvious move, too: private enterprise has, for years, held the flip side—the use of company equipment to conduct personal business—to be a fire-able offense; although they allow some limited personal use.

Another bill guarantees groups that are denied tax-exempt status the right to appeal the decision to a separate IRS office.

Also an obvious move. No government decision should be appeal-proof at the outset.

The third bill addresses complaints from groups that have had their confidential taxpayer information improperly disclosed by IRS employees. The bill allows the IRS to tell victims about the status of investigations into the disclosures. Current law forbids the IRS from releasing such information.

Here, I disagree slightly: the bill should require the IRS to disclose status information, not merely permit it. Still, it’s a step in the right direction.

Watch these three obvious moves die in the Democratic Party-controlled Senate.

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