• Sen. Jeff Sessions almost single-handedly trying to derail ‘Gang of Eight’ immigration bill

    Power Players

    When it comes to immigration reform, perhaps no senator has been more vocal about their displeasure with the newest bill, drafted by the group of bipartisan senators known as the "Gang of Eight," than Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala.--the Republican many blame for the defeat of the last immigration reform bill in 2008.

    “This bill, written by the 'Gang of Eight,' without public process, that stacked in the committee and determined to move it through with little or no changes, it,” Sessions said.

    But many pro-immigration reform voices are suspicious that the 49 amendments Sessions has filed, second only to the whopping 77 amendments filed by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), are designed to kill the bill rather than change it. Sessions says that's not so.

    “We create amendments that reveal the problems with [the immigration reform bill], and I think that's kind of what's been happening,” he told Power Players. “We are beginning to show that there are weaknesses in it.”

    He points to

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  • Michele Bachmann: The IRS targeting of Tea Party groups tied to Obama’s political agenda

    The Fine Print

    As the chair of the Tea Party Caucus, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R – Minn.) is railing against the IRS’s targeting of Tea Party groups, saying: “clearly, this had political implications…that would benefit President Obama.”

    “Over and over and over, the common thread is the Obama administration was too willing to use the government to advance their agenda, their political agenda,” Bachmann tells The Fine Print.

    Bachmann says individuals in the Tea Party have been voicing concerns to her about getting “ridiculous questions” from the IRS for quite some time and asserts that other groups, in addition to the Tea Party, were also targeted.

    “The IRS couldn't do enough to part the waters to make sure that every progressive, left-wing leaning organization got their new tax-exempt status,” she says. “So they were able to get a favorable tax treatment, while Christians, pro Israel, conservative, Tea Partiers, pro-growth, pro-job, pro-business, they were hurt.”

    The congresswoman says

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  • Leader of targeted Tea Party group ‘pissed off’ by IRS’s questioning, calls it a ‘fishing expedition’

    Top Line

    Susan McLaughlin knows first-hand what it’s like to be targeted by the IRS. Her Tea Party group in Liberty Township, Ohio was among those subjected to intense questioning after applying for tax-exempt status.

    McLaughlin tells Top Line, “it just pisses you off” to be questioned by the IRS in such detail.

    “It's intrusive; it is clearly a fishing expedition,” McLaughlin says.

    McLaughlin reads aloud a question from a seven-page-long letter The Liberty Township Tea Party received from the IRS’s Cincinnati office. “’List each past and present board member, officer, key employee and members of their family,’ and then it says, ‘have they served on the board of another organization?’”

    “Well, what does that mean?” McLaughlin asks of the IRS’s question.

    McLaughlin’s Tea Party group happens to be in Speaker of the House John Boehner’s district. She says they did make the Speaker’s office aware of the questions they received IRS at the time—feeling they were “onerous and out of line”—but

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