TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Sunday, October 2, 2016

The IRS Scandal, Day 1242

IRS Logo 2Politico, The Other Speaker of the House:

Jim Jordan might be the most powerful Republican in the House after Paul Ryan. But can the Freedom Caucus chief be anything more than a rebel leader?

For months, top House Republicans had blown off the House Freedom Caucus’ demands to launch impeachment proceedings against IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, seeing it as wrong on the merits and a political loser. But conservatives believe he’d lied to Congress. So Jordan — the ringleader of the 40-something rebels who’ve upended the House Republican Conference and drove John Boehner into early retirement — decided it was time for a more confrontational approach.

Early this month, he cornered Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte on the House floor and presented him with a choice: Haul Koskinen in for questioning under oath, or the Freedom Caucus would force a vote on the sensitive impeachment matter just a few weeks before Election Day.
Within days, Jordan got his hearing.

In the 18-plus months since he helped launch the Freedom Caucus, Jordan has emerged as arguably the second-most influential Republican in the House after Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). The 52-year-old ex-wrestling champion from Ohio has routinely thwarted his own Republican leadership’s priorities in a drive to push his party’s agenda rightward, rallying his troops to sink Ryan-led legislative initiatives they feel are way too accommodating to the left.

His power, though, seems to have reached a tipping point. An increasing number of Jordan’s Republican House colleagues are fed up with his tactics. In the case of the impeachment hearing, it gave him and his allies another cathartic moment to rake Koskinen over the coals, but the exercise mostly just angered other Republicans. And the odds of Koskinen ultimately losing his job are next to nil.

“You have the tail wagging the dog, a small group of 40 people basically dictating to leadership: This is what we will or will not allow you to do,” said one senior Republican allied with House GOP leadership. “It’s an inversion of political influence.”

Jordan stands by the group’s damn-the-torpedoes approach, on impeachment and plenty of other matters (and there have been plenty). He says Republicans have a disturbing habit of caving to Democrats, and a different approach is needed to start securing some GOP victories, especially on fiscal policy.

“We have to win on something,” he said during an interview in his central Ohio district, frustration bubbling in his voice. “It’s like a football team that’s 0 and 9. The last week of the season, you’re not playing for the state playoffs; you’re playing to win the game and set the tone for the future. My attitude is: Let’s win on one issue to set a different tone and create a different dynamic … We have to win on something!”

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2016/10/the-irs-scandal-day-1242.html

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Comments

Slightly OT but today we learn that someone at the IRS might have leaked one of Trump's tax returns.

The nature of this leaked suggest coordination with the Clinton campaign because this specific tax return aligns with her attack during the debate.

During this election we have seen hackers target the DNC. The DNC has said Trump was working with the Russians on it. The media has gone ape over the hacking and trying to influence the election as one of the worst crimes ever.

Why is the IRS acting like Putin? How is it that this leak, which is nothing new from our Democrat friends who work for the government, not investigated and prosecuted? Where is the media outrage?

There is only one candidate that acts like a totalitarian dictator that will abuse the power of government, and that is Hillary Clinton. She is doing it with the help of a corrupt government and a crony media.

Posted by: wodun | Oct 2, 2016 3:43:14 PM