Steve Daines Wants the IRS to Investigate Rape Victims

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Representative Steve Daines likes to talk about keeping the IRS out of the lives of Montanans. A search of his Congressional site reveals that it’s one the most important issues facing the millionaires he represents.

Back in May, Daines co-sponsored a bill designed to keep the IRS from enforcing any aspect of the Affordable Care Act:

The Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act of 2013, H.R. 1990, states that the IRS may not be involved in any aspect of President Obama’s health care law.

Today, though, Representative Daines voted for a Republican bill that gives the IRS the power to investigate rape victims to determine if they are telling the truth. From the Washington Post:

Given that many people don’t want the IRS prying into their personal lives, it seems hard to believe that they would be comfortable sending an IRS auditor into a woman’s bedroom and asking her such intensely personal questions. This discomfort is likely to rise in cases in which a woman who has been a victim of rape may be under emotional distress not just because of the rape but also from the abortion.

ThinkProgress has more:

Essentially, that would empower the government agency to have the final say over what “counts” as a sexual assault or a life-threatening situation. And that, in turn, would force victims to prove their case.
“Imagine having to recount a sexual assault — a horrifyingly painful, personal experience — to a tax collector,” NARAL Pro-Choice America says in an action alert to its members to encourage them to mobilize against HR 7. “An anti-choice bill in Congress would do just that. It could force sexual assault survivors who access abortion care to prove the assault occurred.”

At best, the Daines vote reflects incredible thoughtlessness for the victims of sexual assault. At worse, it represents his willingness to put his extremist views ahead of the interests of women who need access to reproductive health services in the worst possible circumstances.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

8 Comments

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  • Ya, Don. Because the IRS would never just do something as simple as pull a police report on a rape. It says something much more creepy about your side when you imagine IRS agents foaming at the mouth to interrogate rape and incest victims about their itemized deductions. At some point when you have to create elaborate fantasies that go against common sense and human decency to smear someone, I think you’re going beyond the pale.

    • This is conservative logic at its best. You suggest I am making this up–and then confirm that the bill would allow the IRS to pull someone’s police file to determine if a sexual assault had taken place. Simply astonishing from the party that claims to want to get the IRS out of our lives.

      • You are the king of mischaracterizing an argument, man. “Pull a police report” is something any citizen can do at any time because publicly funded things like police are subject to open records and FOIA laws. Nowhere did I state that the bill would suddenly starting authorizing it. What I said was that although the power exists for the IRS to make final designation in the a case of an audit on whether ANY expense is allowed, your assertion that the IRS would be interrogating rape victims about their tax returns instead of merely filing a public records information request with a police station to confirm the event is what I take issue with.
        President Obama ultimately also has the authority to enforce law as the head of the executive branch. Reality and common sense dictates he isn’t out every night on the beat busting punks and flying the drones. Same case here. Just because a legal power exists with the IRS doesn’t mean every fantasy scenario you can come up with will ever actually occur, and reality and common sense dictates it probably would never occur under any circumstances.
        Honestly, stop blabbing on about critical thinking when you have obviously given up displaying the trait yourself.

  • Every time a Democrat cries “sexual assault” my mind races back to that famous Bill Clinton quote.

    “You better put some ice on that”.

  • Every time a Republican cry’s rape….. its usually because Americas Pocketbook is open and they want people to look where they point as they pilfer from the open billfold.

    GOOD Job Don!

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