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.