Vote Explanations for H.R. 4885 and H.R. 1206
Monday marked everyone’s favorite day of the year: Tax Day. As millions of Americans responsibly filed their annual taxes, the Republican-led Congress has chosen to commemorate this time of year by bringing two partisan bills to the floor that would politicize the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and prevent the agency from effectively carrying out its responsibilities.
H.R. 4885 — IRS Oversight While Eliminating Spending Act
The IRS has the longstanding legal authority to offset the cost of providing services to taxpayers with user fees. The IRS has had this authority since 1995, and charges user fees for a variety of customer services.
Under H.R. 4885, the IRS would be required to deposit receipts collected from user fees in the general fund of the Treasury. These funds would then be subject to the highly partisan congressional appropriations process. Additionally, this legislation would bar the Treasury from using the funds acquired through user fees to implement the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Over the past several years, funding for the IRS has been cut by over $1 billion and the agency has increasingly relied upon user feeds to continue to provide essential services to Americans. H.R. 4885 is another attempt by my Republican colleagues to politicize a federal agency and to undermine our nation’s hallmark health care law. For these reasons, I voted against the IRS Oversight While Eliminating Spending Act.
H.R. 1206 — No Hires for the Delinquent IRS Act
Talk about red tape, H.R. 1206 would mandate a hiring freeze at the IRS unless the Treasury Department certifies to Congress that no IRS employee has a “seriously delinquent” tax credit.
It should be noted that employees of the Treasury Department have the lowest rates of tax delinquency in the entire federal government at just over 1 percent. Democrats offered an amendment to expand the hiring ban to Congress, which has a tax delinquency rate of 5 percent, but it was ruled out of order on procedural grounds by the House Republicans.
The IRS is already required to fire or penalize an employee who is tax delinquent has committed tax fraud or other acts of misconduct. This legislation is an unprecedented overreach by Congress, which undermines the ability of an already understaffed agency to hire new employees. That is why I voted against H.R. 1206.