tv U.S. House of Representatives Legislative Business CSPAN April 20, 2016 12:00pm-2:01pm EDT
debate two bills related to the i.r.s. one to bar the i.r.s. from hiring workers who are delinquent on their taxes. and a second bill giving congress oversight on i.r.s. user fees. both are scheduled to take place around 3:00 eastern. the speaker: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offered by our guest chaplain, elmira, new york. the chaplain: lord, make me an instrument of your peace where there is hatred, let me so love. where there is injury, pardon, where there is doubt, faith. and where there is despair hope and where there is darkness,
light. nd where there's sadness, joy. o, divine master, grant that i may not seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand and to love as to love. for it is in giving that we receive, as in pardoning that we are pardoned. and as indined to the south born to eternal life. amen. the speaker: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1 the journal stands approved. the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentleman from illinois, mr. dold. mr. dold: will the guests in the gallery please join us? i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
the speaker: without objection, the gentleman from new york, mr. reed, is recognized for one minute. mr. reed: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise today and it is my pleasure and privilege to host the very reverend john opening for today's prayer in the house of representatives. he's committed his life to both his faith and his country. displaying the extraordinary level of service and dedication to others. the elmira native dedicated his early years by volunteer firefighting and went on to complete his undergraduate degree in new york. he would later receive his master of diventity and art from st. bernard seminary in rochester, new york. the father has been ordained as a roman catholic priest in 1978. father was also chaplain for
ithaca college. mr. speaker, in 1992, which i am very proud of, f desotia was commissioned in the u.s. navy and served 17 years before being honorably discharged in 2009. following his military service, father returned to his hometown and worked with lions international, the knights of columbus and the volunteer fire department. he's a pillar in our community, mr. speaker, and we are tremendously honored to have him with us today. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair will entertain up to 15 further one-minute questions on each side of the aisle. for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina seek recognition? mr. wilson: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. wilson: mr. speaker, just five years ago, south carolina veterans struggled to find a job facing an unemployment rate of over 20%. today, veteran unemployment has dropped to just 4.4%, one of the lowest in the country.
veterans have unique training, education and experiences that are valuable to any workplace. last month i hosted the fourth annual veterans fair in the midlands. these resource fairs bring together over 40 agencies and employers to help return veterans find a job. i was grateful to partner with the operation palmetto employment under the leadership of program director alyssa edwards, the south carolina army national guard with colonel ronnie taylor, shannon banks, fred paisley and led by ed a gent general bob livingston and cheryl stanton. i appreciate the work of the community leaders, the national federation of independent business, nfib, and the u.s. chamber of commerce for their efforts in promoting the hiring of veterans. i believe we should assist those who defend our freedoms as a top priority. in conclusion, god bless our troops and may the president by his actions never forget
september 11 and the global war on terrorism. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one inute. >> columbine, colorado, april 20, 1999. william dave sanders, 47 years old. isiah shoals, 18. lauren townsend, 18 years old. cassie burnal, 17. corey, 17. rachel scott, 17 years old. mr. peters: john tomlin, 16. kyle velasquez, 16. matthew, 16. kelly flemming, 16 years old. daniel, 15 years old. daniel mowser, 15 years old.
steven, 14 years old. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to recognize the achievements of daniel dennis. just this past week, daniel earned the right to represent the united states in the 2016 olympic games being held in rio as a member of the united states wrestling team. mr. dold: he's one of only six wrestlers who were selected. throughout his career, daniel has stood out as a rare talent in the sport. while he attended grant township high school in fox lake, illinois, daniel set the school record for career wins, technical defaults and most team points. daniel built upon that success while wrestling at the university of iowa where he was a two-time all-american and placed second at the ncaa championship. congratulations to daniel on
being named to the olympic wrestling team and we wish you good luck as you take your talents to the international stage. we're all rooting for you to bring home the gold to illinois' 10th congressional district. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. mr. speaker, you might recognize this image. this is a photo of sophie cruz, my 6-year-old constituent from south gate, california, who made headlines when she ran through the barricades to meet pope francis last year. sophie is one of five million children who is an american citizen but whose parents are undocumented and face deportation. she asked pope francis to support dapa, a program which could prevent her family from being separated. on monday, dapa was deliberated in the supreme court and now
the fate of millions of children like sophie and their families is in the hands of the justices. sophie was in d.c. on monday ready to tell her story. she rallied a crowd of hundreds of people on the supreme court steps and asked the justices to think about her family. i could not be more proud of sophie, but a 6-year-old girl, however courageous she may be, should not have to come all the way to washington, d.c. to advocate for fixing the broken immigration system. that's our job. the supreme court should unfreeze dapa, but we in congress need to finally pass comprehensive immigration reform for sophie and for millions of children she represents. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from louisiana seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, six years ago on april 20, 2010, the deepwater
horizon exploded and resulted in the loss of 11 lives and destroying or disrupting many families, businesses, restaurants, livelihood of south louisiana which is known as the sportsman paradise. mr. graves: profound impacts on commercial fishing and oil in the state of louisiana, over 600 miles which is known as one of the most productive eek systems on the north american continent. countless hours have been invested by state, local and federal employees trying to help restore and recover the gulf and resulted in one of the largest settlements. in fact, the largest settlement from one company in united states history. mr. speaker, during the height of that disaster we heard the administration, the president and the importance of this ecosystem yet since that time we've seen nothing but federal actions to take funds away from restoring and protecting coastal louisiana. mr. speaker, we're asking the administration to remain consistent and to honor those
lives that were lost and to honor the coast of louisiana. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from rhode island seek recognition? mr. cicilline: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. cicilline: mr. speaker, this friday, april 22, is earth day, a time to remember our responsibility to be good stewards of this planet. and our urgent responsibility to respond to global climate change. 97% of climate scientists agree that human activity is causing global warming. the evidence is all around us. the last 11 months have been the hottest such months on record. sea levels have risen more than half a foot in the last century and comblaciers around the world are in re-- glaciers around the world are in restreet. we cannot afford to ignore this any longer. we must address climate change and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. we must end the subsidies of big oil companies, take up the anti-drilling act which my colleague, mr. pallone, has
introduced, take up h.r. 1814 to permanently re-authorize the land and wer conservation fund and work together to respond to this urgent challenge. history will not judge this chamber kindly if we fail to act. all of us have our responsibility to address the threat of climate change before it's too late. and with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan seek recognition? >> i request to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. today i rise to thank steve for his service to the city of lettington, mason county and the second congressional district in michigan. last thursday, steve hung up his hat as the manager editor of the daily news. for the past 29 years, steve served the community with the type of journalistic integrity that all residents should expect from their newspapers. as a newsman, steve challenged the status quo while giving all sides a fair shake. mr. huizenga: steve also played
a vital role as a journalist on the stage, the ferry, the last of the great lakes ferries, was not only for lettington but for the entire state of michigan, the great lakes and even wisconsin. frankly, they don't make them like steve anymore. steve, thank you for your countless hours of hard work to ensure residents of northwest michigan had accurate and relyable reporting. i hope you'll be able to spend time some with your grandchildren while still providing a thoughtful column for the lettington daily news now and again. thanks, my friend. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from new york seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. mrs. maloney: mr. speaker, last week i released a new report by the democratic staff of the joint economic committee about the effects of the gender gap on women and families in america. this report on gender pay
inequality is the most comprehensive, up-to-date report on the gender pay gap. a typical woman working full time and year round is paid only 79 cents to the male dollar. his adds up to a loss of refly $10,800 -- roughly $10,800 per year and compounds over a lifetime to half a million dollars less pay than a man because of the pay gap. over a lifetime, this jeopardizes a woman's retirement because the lower pay results in a lower pension, lower social security, lower savings and contributes to the fact that women over 75 years of age are twice as likely as their male counterparts to live in poverty. millions of women and children and families and husbands are hurt by unequal pay for equal
work. let's finally make equal pay a reality by passing the paycheck fairness act and finally putting women into the constitution for equality. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from arizona seek recognition? ms. mcsally: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. mcsally: mr. speaker, with education and opportunity women can transform a society. this is true all around the world but especially in america where women still have untapped potential. as a society, we must do a better job of showing girls they can be whatever they want to be and making sure they have the opportunity to achieve their fullest potential. that's why on june 11 my office will hold southern arizona's first ever congressional young women's leadership program. this one-day event provides young women currently in high school with the opportunity to meet and interact with successful women from southern
arizona who hold leadership roles in a variety of fields. quite simply, this program is about encouraging young women to be fearless, dream big and let nothing stand in their way. the deadline for applications which can be found on my website mcsally.house.gov is may 9. i encourage girls throughout the second district to apply at my website. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> i seek unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. mcnerney: mr. speaker, as a -- prime an it's my numbers were randomly distributed in the sense that any large section of consecutive interinjuries would have an equal number of primes ending in one, three, seven and nine. prime numbers are used in generating pseudonumbers found in all applications and some
encryption. even the insects emergent only after a prime number of years to avoid regularly appearing predators. recently dr. rojan and dr. oliver, both at stamford university, discovered that consecutive prime numbers have preferences for the digits they end in. for example, consecutive primes don't like having the same digit while primes ending in nine prefer to be followed by primes ending in one. we must provide funding to the national science foundation to investigate this and other important mathematical questions. mr. speaker, i yield back. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from arkansas seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to congratulate midamerica museum in my hometown for being awarded the 2016 national medal
for museum and library service. midamerica has not only made a difference in the lives of local families, but has impacted generations of arkansans. the museum's focus on bringing science education to the masses in a fun way has made it a leader in the state and nation. midamerica's recent expansion continues its mission, bringing science to life for generations to come. the museum's 2016 national medal confirm what is we in arkansas have known for many years, that midamerica is a world class museum, providing world class educational experience to arkansas' next generation. mr. westerman: mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, when house republicans came to power, you promised to affectively govern on behalf of the american people -- effectively govern on behalf of the american people.
mr. jeffries: instead, over the last five years, house republicans have majored in obstruction, minored in dysfunction, and pursued a degree in legislative malpractice. house republicans are responsible for painful sequestration cuts, responsible for a 16-day goverent shutdown that cost the american people $24 billion in lost economic productivity. responsible for constantly undermining the full faith and credit of t united states of america, and now responsible for the failure to deler an on-time budget. the american people have had enough. it's time to invest in transportation and infrastructure, invest in education and job training, invest in technology and innovation,nd abandon the reckless efforts of house republicans to obstruct any progre on behalf of the american people. let's get back to doing the
business. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from arkansas seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i just returned from the united nations where there's a special session on the drug problems. mr. blumenauer: if this is a serious and complex issue -- this is a serious and complex issue, but the war on drugs, where we've spent over $1 trillion, has been a failure. drugs are still readily plentiful in the united states, the cost is down, and we have caught hundreds of thousands of innocent people in latin american countries in the crossfire. yet the united states is on the sidelines here. there are countries that are stepping forward for reform, for harm reduction, trying to deal with the death penalty, and yet the united states is trying to balance out the reformers seeking a middle ground between them and iran and china and russia. that's not what the united states should be doing. we should be involved in
reform. we should minimize the dangerer that is the result of misguided practice. we can de-escalate this and make a difference for people around the world and in fact do a better job of dealing with the drug problem in america. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair lays before the house a communication. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir. pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the house of the -- of the rules of the u.s. ouse of representatives, the senate passed h.r. 2722, that the senate passed senate 2755. with best wished, karen l. haas. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house an enrolled bill.
the clerk: senate 1638. an act to direct the secretary of homeland secity to submit to congress information on the department of homeland security headquarters consolidation project in the national capital region, and for other purposes. the speaker o tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from missouri, mr. smith, seek recognition? mr. smith: mr. speaker, pursuant to house resolution 687, i call up the bill, h.r. 4885, the i.r.s. oversight while elimiting spending act of 2016. and ask for its immediate consideration. thspeaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk:nion calendar number 380, h.r. 4885. a bill to require that user fees collected by the internal revenue service be deposited into the general fund of the treasury. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to house resolution 387 and in lieu of the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the committee on ways and means printed in the bill, an amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the
text is adopted and the bill amended is considered read. the bill shall be debatable for one hour. the gentlemanrom missouri, mr. smith, and the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin, will each control 30 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from missouri. mr. smith. mr. smith: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consenthat al members may have five legislative da within wch to revise and extend their remarks and include extraous materials on h.r. 4885, currently under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. smith: thank you, mr. speaker. i recognize myself for as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: the i.r.s. owes act about protecting the american taxpayer. those who elected us to represent them, from an i.r.s. proven and capable of being -- incapable of serving their interest. thomas jefferson said when the people fear the government, there's tyranny. when the government fears the people, there is liberty. right now the people of missouri's eighth district fear
the i.r.s. they fear an unjust audit, political and religious targeting, and most recently they fear spending an avera of eight hours to complete their tax returns. that's simply not rigt. this bill is about liberating the folks of missouri, along with all americans, from the i.r.s. it is about making the i.r.s. behoen to them and not the other way around. and it is about exerting our article 1 authority of the power of the pursef congres making sure that unelected bureaucrats are not spending taxpayer money improperly and unwisely. a democrat congressman from the state of missouri once said, me from a state that raes cockle bureaus and democrats. i'm from missouri, you've got . show me
the i.r.s. has not shownhis body, they have not proven to the missourians that i represent, and they have not proven to the american pele that they are responsible stewards of user fees. through user fees, the i.r.s. collects almost $500 million. it's nothing but slush fund. mr. speaker, that's why filed the i.r.s.wes act. it provides congress and the american puic with greaterer oversight in w the r.s. is spending valuable taxpayer resources. as is, the i.r.s. collts various user fees that sit in an account where they can spend the money without congressional approval. in the past t i.r.s. dedicated significa amounts of its collected user fees to improving the services provided to taxpayers who need assistance. the i.r.s. in the pa few years s turned these fees into a slush fund. diverti this money away from serving the taxpayer and insteadutting it towards whatever thewant. in particular, the implementation of obamacare
andates. in 2014 the i.r.s. alloted $183 million in user fees to serving the neeof that's 44% of the entire slush fund. yet in 2015 the i.r.s. allocated a mere $49 hello in -- million in user fees to help taxpayers. that's 10%. so, from one year they went from 44% of serving taxpayers to 10% in serving taxpayers. at their own discretion. just yesterday i called i.r.s. commissioner and i asked the i.r.s. commissioner in a hearing whether it was congress or the i.r.s. who cut funding to taxpayer customer service. here were my questions amend his answers. in 2014, you appropriated $183 million for taxpayer services.
is that correct? the commissioner said, yes. i thened up. in -- i then followed up. in 2015 you appropriated $49 million for taxpayer assistance. is that correct? the commissioner said, that's correct. i then followed up, so it was your decision to cut taxpayer assistance by $130 million, is that correct? the commissioner of the i.r.s. said, yes. instead of using those resources to grow taxpayer services, reduce wait times, and improve the public's interactions with the i.r.s., they are dedicating close to $200 million on technology to help implement and track the obamacare mandates. it's no wonder that last year the commissioner of the i.r.s. would call the level of taxpayer services abysmal. that is simply unacceptable. the pattern here is alarming.
when the i.r.s. has discretion, the agency uses that discretion in ways that harm americans. it is a duty of the i.r.s. to work for the taxpayers, not against them. i encourage my colleagues to do the citizens they represent a favor and support the i.r.s. owes act. and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from michigan. mr. levin: i yield myself such time as i shall consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. levin: here's the story. here are the honest facts. republicans have cut the i.r.s. budget by close to $1 billion over the past five years. and this bill is just another budget cut. further reducing the i.r.s.'s budget by as much as $500 million.
the consequences of these budget cuts for taxpayers are significant, as you can see from this chart. what's happened since 2011 is that the appropriations have gone down and waiting times have gone up. the average wait is shown in this blue line. the dollars are in the yellow. the only improvement was when we appropriated a couple hundred million dollars at the initiative of democrats, and the waits times went down as money went up. so, the republicans who complained about poor i.r.s. customer service, they have only to look in the mirror to see who is responsible. here are the facts. republican cuts to the i.r.s. budget from 2010 to 2015 resulted in, and everyone,
listen to this, 13,000 fewer full-time i.r.s. employees, a significant number of taxpayer phone calls being dropped, as indicated by this chart. delays in much-needed upgrades to information technology and cybersecurity. and the lowest level of audits in a decade, with less than 1% of taxpayers being audited last year. this is all despite the fact that the number of tax returns $9 -- led increased by increased by nine million or 7% since 2010. this effort today is motivated entirely by politics instead of good policy. the i.r.s. has had the authority to offset the cost of taxpayer services with user fees since 1995. the republicans have never
tried to tamper with that. so this is the first time that republicans have tried to prevent the i.r.s. from using these moneys. we heard the republicans argue that the i.r.s. used some of this funding to implement the affordable care act. true, true. those are taxpayer services. taxpayers are applying for help through affordable care act. it's the i.r.s.'s responsibility to implement that, so the i.r.s. is doing exactly what they should be doing, implementing a law passed by congress, a law that has resulted in 20 million more americans with health care coverage. so this bill is in essence another effort -- it might be, at, number 63, 64, 65 to
undermine health care reform. that's really what this is all about, and the gentleman who presented the case made that case. i.r.s. helping people access to health care reform is a taxpayer service. the white house issued a statement of administrative policy and which it says if the president were presented with this bill, his senior advisors would recommend he'd veto it. the statement reads as follows, and i quote, by further constraining i.r.s. resources, h.r. 4885 would have detrimental effects on the i.r.s.'s ability to provide quality service to taxpayers, administer the tax code and enforce tax laws. so that's really what this all
about. and the statement continues, the i.r.s. needs more resources, not fewer, to deter tax cheats, serve honest taxpayers and protect taxpayer data. the republicans are using these i.r.s. bills this week to attack the i.r.s. and its employees as a distraction. they don't want hardworking americans to know what they missed the deadline on, to come up with a budget, that they're doing absolutely nothing to help the people of flint or puerto rico who so desperately need our help. i urge my colleagues to vote no for the reasons outlined by this chart, by the need of more resources for customer services and to thwart a further effort by the republicans to undermine a.c.a. that has meant so much to millions and millions and
millions of americans from all walks of life. this should be resoundingly voted down surely by us democrats who believe in customer service and who want the a.c.a. implemented, not destroyed by the republican party of this house or the senate. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan reserves. the gentleman from missouri. mr. smith: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield two minutes to the gentleman from louisiana. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from louisiana is recognized for two minutes. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i thank my colleague from missouri for bringing this bill, for his leadership on holding the i.r.s. accountable and i guess, mr. speaker, we should start with the question of who's attacking who. when you look at the actions of the i.r.s., pearblely in the last few years, and we've exposed this through our oversight here in the house majority, we found that it's the i.r.s. who's been attacking hardworking taxpayers of this country.
mr. scalise: it's been not only documented but it's come out in hearings. the i.r.s. was actually targeting people, american citizens based on their political views. the i.r.s. was. you can expect maybe in a third-world country where the government would actually be attacking people based on their political views but here in america thirst was doing just that and we exposed it. you're seeing what the bill that congressman smith is bringing forward that i.r.s. has created in essence a slush fund, using user fees for things that weren't even intended, that aren't even in the purview of congress. what are they afraid of? why are they afraid of having some real transparency where we can actually hold the i.r.s. ccountable for these user fees ? hundreds of millions of dollars of user fees, by the way, that are paid by hardworking families out there that are struggling to get by. when someone calls the i.r.s. hotline right now, estimates are less than 40% of americans
who call the i.r.s. hotline to get help are able to get help. so the i.r.s. is not helping people that they're supposed to be helping. and so they got these slush funds and they don't want it to be under the purview of congress? well, what are they afraid of hiding? maybe that we'll expose more things like they're using taxpayer money to target people. maybe they'll target things like they were actually hiring people that were fired from the i.r.s. because they were accessing improperly people's taxpayer data. the fact that they've given up bonuses to people when they can't even show that they have a customer service plan. when you're looking at so many abuses by the i.r.s., it's an agency that's out of control and at least we have a bill by the gentleman from missouri to at least bring some of that into the purview of congress so t's exposed to the sunshine of transpeashesy. let's pass this bill.
i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from missouri. mr. smith: thank you, mr. speaker. i verve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan. mr. levin: i yield myself two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. levin: look, as happened yesterday, i expect the republicans to try to bring up the issue relating to the i.r.s. and how it handled 501-c-4 applications. i just, as i did yesterday, want to read an answer given by the inspector general on this issue. n may 17, 2013, i asked him as follows -- did you find any evidence of political motivation in the selection of the tax exemption applications? inspector george said, we did not, sir. next, customer service, you here he gal to come forth
and to complain about customer service when you cut the budget of the i.r.s. over five years y almost $900 million. -- gal. ly takes gol it's inconsistent. look any mirror and you'll see who's responsible for those problems. saying, t to finish by slush fund, implementing health care reform that has helped 20 million people, that's a slush fund? no, that is implementation by i.r.s. of a necessary function affecting the lives, the health care of millions of americans.
so you're really bankrupt here to come forth here and support this bill. mr. speaker, i now ask unanimous consent that the gentleman from oregon control the remainder of my time. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. levin: mr. blumenauer. the speaker pro tempore: members are reminded to direct their comments to the chair. the gentleman from oregon reserves. the gentleman from missouri. mr. smith: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself a minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. smith: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to respond to the gentleman's comments prior. as a matter of fact, since fiscal year 2013, in budget sequestration, congress has either maintained or increased funding for taxpayer services each and every year, never cutting it one time. any cuts to taxpayer services have come with the clear discretion of the i.r.s. commissioner. yesterday in committee, the i.r.s. commissioner said that
it was his discretion to cut taxpayer services and in fact in the last year, they cut $134 million. congress in the last four years has not cut one dollar in taxpayer services. so let's get the record straight while we are on the house floor. i'd like to yield two minutes to the fine lady, member of ways and means committee, the vice chair of the conference from kansas, ms. jenkins. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from kansas is recognized for two minutes. ms. jenkins: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i'm pleased to come to the house floor of the i.r.s. oversight while eliminating spending act, sponsored by my colleague, mr. smith. i spent many years serving in the tax area as a certified public accountant so i understand why tax day has become a dreaded annual burden to so many americans. the economy has yet to rebound from the recession, and wage growth is stagnant, but in 2016, individuals will spend more on their taxes than
clothing, food and housing combined. and while americans continue to face the threat of increasing taxes, thanks to this administration, the tax process has gotten only more complicated and confusing. the i.r.s. has provided inadequate customer service and proved unwilling or unable to change. this commonsense legislation brings us one step closer to providing the proper oversight over the i.r.s.'s activities. at the moment, the i.r.s. currently charges user fees and congress has no say as to how these fees are used. i'm extremely disappointed this agency is playing politics with these fees. they cut the fees allocated to customer service by 73% this year and reallocated those funds in had an effort to try to extract additional fees from the american taxpayer. folks are already paying more than enough in taxes.
if the i.r.s. wants taxpayers to pay fees, then they need to account how they are using every last cent of that money. oversight from congress will ensure no frivolous use by a wasteful i.r.s. i urge my colleagues to support this legislation. we cannot continue to reward inefficient bureaucracies. the american people deserve to have a say in how the i.r.s. spends our hard-earned tax dollars. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. mr. smith: i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from missouri reserves. the gentleman from oregon. mr. blumenauer: it's painful to hear some of the discussion here. i yield myself such time as i may consume. it's painful to listen to some of the rhetoric here on the floor, suggesting that somehow that the use of resources by the i.r.s. is not dealing with customer service. the gentleman admitted that under republican leadership
they have worked to not fund the necessary resources for the affordable care act. now, this is a bill that is law . this is a bill that is mpacting 16 million americans. 7.3 million people got the tax credits. i would ask the gentleman if he would yield, what would the impact on 7.3 million taxpayers if we had no money available to implement the affordable care act? mr. smith: i'll yield. the question that we have before us is, did we appropriate adequate funding for taxpayer services? mr. blumenauer: reclaiming my time. i'm asking the gentleman, what would be the impact on the 7.3 million people who are claiming the tax credit under the
affordable care act which you have not yet repealed and which still is the law of the land, what would be the impact be on them? mr. smith: the law of the land is article 1 of the constitution and congress has the power of the purse to appropriate funds and congress appropriated the funds in 2016, but the i.r.s. is not following that appropriately and this is wrong. mr. blumenauer: my question to you -- if i may reframe it -- because i don't want to trick you. i want to know what the impact would be on 7.3 million if there was no money available to implement the affordable care act? mr. smith: we're not -- what i'm talking about is that congress appropriated the necessary resources. you're talking about over $11 billion to the i.r.s. and they cannot appropriate the funds correctly? mr. blumenauer: reclaiming my time. and i would appreciate the gentleman on his own time elaborating on this. what i am attempting to do, and you're not answering, is, what
would be the impact if, as you said in your opening statement, the money was not allocated to implement the affordable care act? sort of a back door way via the budget process which you can control to defund the affordable care act. the fact is that for those 7.3 million people who get the tax credits and over 17 million americans who received health care under the affordable care act, being able to implement the law is customer service. i would think that my -- lican friends would go they'd become very cranky if the bureaucracy in the i.r.s. just decided that they weren't going to implement part of the law. so what the i.r.s. has done within some areas that it does have budgetary discretion is to make sure that there are
adequate people to try and implement these provisions. now, it is true that the tax code becomes more and more complex but that's not the fault of the i.r.s. those are the people who are charged with implementing what congress does. since i've been in congress, and my republican friends have been charge most of this time, the tax code has become longer, more complex, even as they have cut back the resources to that critical agency. what business assaults its accounts receivable department. the internal revenue service is the largest customer service agency in the world and they have a very difficult job because congress in the last 20
years, 25 years has cut 30,000 people out of the work force. in the last 10 years, we've en an additional reduction and i'm glad that my republican friends were embarrassed because of their continued cuts to the i.r.s. budget and that that they so bad -- it does not make up for the fact that the i.r.s. has a legal obligation to administer this -- the affordable care act which is still on the books, which is serving millions of americans and has become more complex and actually more onerous for individual taxpayers. . they have made changes to make a sharper cliff, if people make
a mistake in the estimate of their income. because it is graduated, you get less help, the more money you make. and under the republican assault on the affordable care act, there's more of a cliff that faces people, if they have a change in circumstance, if they -- misallocate, if they lose a job, get a bonus, it can have significant consequences. mr. speaker, the united states internal revenue service has been a whipping boy for everybody. this is a service that people love to hate. and republicans have taken their war against taxes to high art by assaulting the i.r.s. making it hard to serve. attacking it repeatedly. mr. speaker, this has significant consequences. the united states relies on
voluntary compliance from the taxpayers. every 1% less voluntary mpliance costs the taxpayers $30 billion that could be used to reduce the deficit, or to pay for badly needed services, or maybe rebuild our fraying infrastructure. this has consequences. i would respectfully suggest that this is a cut of a half billion dollars to a budget that is already stressed and can't deal with the needs of today. people in the i.r.s. are dealing with a computer system that those of you who took computer science in the 1960's, i didn't, but you'd feel comfortable with some of the programming language they have. it's hopelessly out of date. the employees are overwhelmed on the phone lines. and congress keeps changing the
tax code. taking away a half billion dollars in user fees and throwing it into the general fund makes it very unlikely that it will be available for the priorities that are going to be necessary to administer the i.r.s. my friend doesn't care if the affordable care act is not administered. in fact, he would rather that it not be administered. but that's not the law, that's not fair to the taxpayers, taking away these user fees, putting it in the appropriations process is going to have a sort of a grab bag in congress for those moneys, i don't know where those would end up. but given the attitude of the people who control it now, it wouldn't be available to administer the affordable care act, something i.r.s. is obligated to do and which we owe to the american people. i will reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance
of his time. the gentleman from missouri. mr. smith: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield two minutes to the gentleman from texas. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for two minutes. >> thank you, mr. speaker. the american people are fed up with the i.r.s. and rightfully so. with such a troubled and incompetent record, it's hard to imagine how anyone could trust this corrupt agency. this week the house will take action, thanks in large part to my friend and colleague from missouri, mr. smith, we'll pass a series of bills to rein in the i.r.s. and bring much-needed accountability to this broken and dysfunctional agency. we'll take steps to end the politicalization of the i.r.s., which has illegally and intentionally targeted conservative americans. we'll vote to eliminate the i.r.s. slush fund, and i call it a slush fund, that has allowed this agency to skirt congressional authority. we'll vote to make sure that i.r.s. employees are held to the same standards as the taxpayers, by firing those who are delinquent in their own
taxes. mr. babin: these are commonsense steps that need to be taken. but we cannot truly solve these problems and bring real change to the internal revenue service under the current leadership of commissioner john cost anyone. koskie nen. it's time for him to go. as a co-sponsor of legislation to impeach the commissioner, i call on congressional leaders to bring that bill forward as well. american taxpayers deserve much better than they're getting and we need to turn the page on mr. koskinen's failed leadership and thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. mr. smith: reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from oregon. mr. blumenauer: mr. speaker, it is my privilege to yield three minutes to a senior member of the ways and means committee, and someone who understands the
value of protecting the federal government's accounts receiveable department. mr. doggett. mr. doggett: i thank the gentleman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. doggett: monday, as all americans know, was, of course, tax day. and today should be officially designated as republican tax distraction day. because that's exactly what's going on here. rather than address the many inequities and complexities in our tax system, republicans distract by attacking the tax collector. one of the oldest tactics around, that goes back, i guess, many civilizations. i believe it was mark twain who suggested the difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector is that the tax collector only takes your skin. but the problem we have today is that there are many of our largest and most profitable corporations that don't have any skin in the game. for the patriotic taxpayers that were out there last
weekend trying to figure out how they'd complete their taxes and how they'd make the payments, or were lined up at monday night at the post office to make their payments, those taxpayers have a lot of boxes on their tax form, but they don't have one that they can check, that shifts their income off to some offshore tax haven. they can't decide that they'll just defer paying on some of their income until they feel like it. yet some of america's largest and most profitable companies use just these type of tax loopholes to dramatically lower their tax bill. and these republicans, especially on the house ways and means committee, have shown no interest in addressing the problem whatsoever. only last week, a major development before this republican tax development was a report that found that 20% of large profitable corporations paid no federal income tax in 2012 the last year of the
survey. that is no, that is none, that is zero, that is zilch. it's not what those folks that were working last week trying to figure out their taxes were faced with. but it is what is occurring. if republicans were serious about making the internal revenue service work better, they'd be addressing injustices like this, instead of making it worse by slashing the i.r.s. budget. shorting that budget is short circuiting the collection of taxes from all those people that are out there trying to dodge their taxes. under these republican budgets, almost one in four of the enforcement tax staff at the i.r.s. have been eliminated over the last seven years. every additional dollar that we spend on tax enforcement yields an estimated $4 in increased revenue. but you know, even a remarkable return on investment like that is modest, compared to the return that america's largest corporations are getting by
lobbying this congress and participating in the political process. oxfam america this month reported that tax dodging by multinationals is costing the united states perhaps as much as $111 billion each year. does the gentleman have another three minutes? mr. blumenauer: i yield the gentleman another minute. mr. doggett: covering that revenue could pay for the entire budget of the national institutes of health, the center for disease -- centers for disease control, and the department of education. tax dodging is not a victimless crime. it's like those seaside resorts where you hear a grandpa went to the island and all i got was this lousy t-shirt. well, you don't get a t-shirt out of this kind of tax dodging but you do get a tax bill because the hardworking american families and small businesses that are picking up the tab for all of those loopholes, they're having to pay more than their fair share. and what we should be doing on this republican tax distraction
day is getting about those loopholes and seeing that the i.r.s. enforces our laws fairly and equitably. that is not being done today. this and the rest of this package should be rejected. in favor of a system that is fair to all americans. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from oregon reserves. the gentleman from missouri. mr. smith: thank you, mr. speaker. it's an honor to yield two minutes to the fine gentleman from nebraska, mr. smith. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. smith: thank you, mr. chairman. i stand here, i want to point out that most folks in this room today, and right now, understand that there's an effort under way to pursue tax reform. to make our tax code simpler, easier to enforce, and actually prevent the need from even needing to pass legislation such as the i.r.s. owes act. but until such time, we need legislation like this, because it will bring much-needed transparency to an agency with
a proven track record of poor management. the i.r.s.'s offenses include targeting taxpayers and irresponsibly directing resources away from its core function of taxpayer services. resulting in the abysmal 2015 tax filing system. the probably been said in this room before, but this simple bill would subject i.r.s. user fees to congressional oversight by directing them to the treasury's general fund and subjecting them to the congressional appropriations process. in 2014, the i.r.s. only used 44% of its user fee account on taxpayer services. last year this number dropped significantly with the i.r.s. using only 10% of its user fee account on taxpayer services. american taxpayers all over the country felt the pain of that choice last year. our tax system depends on voluntary compliance and poor taxpayer assistance like the i.r.s. provided last year would likely encourage taxpayers to perhaps cheat and actually make
it more difficult for taxpayers to even comply. according to a g.a.o. report last year, only 38% of callers wanting to speak to an i.r.s. representative were able to reach one. this is unacceptable from an agency whose core function is revenue collection. h.r. 4885 will strengthen congressional oversight over the i.r.s., not by limiting funding, but by ensuring the i.r.s. uses its funding for its core functions of revenue collection and taxpayer assistance. and not for unrelated purposes, which make it harder for taxpayers to comply with an already -- mr. blumenauer: will the gentleman yield to a question? mr. smith: yes. mr. blumenauer: i'll yield on my time. what is the 7.3 million people who get the tax credit under the affordable care act, is helping them fall within your definition of taxpayer assistance? mr. smith: i don't want
innocent people to be hurt. and with what has taken place at the i.r.s., i would hope all of us would agree it's unacceptable. mr. blumenauer: let me rephrase my question. does assisting 7.3 million people who get tax credits under the affordable care act, does that qualify in your definition of taxpayer assistance? mr. smith: i don't have the actual definition in the top of my mind. but clearly the i.r.s. has chosen priorities, some over others, that i think -- mr. blumenauer: if i have more time later i'd be happy to be involved in a sill i request with you on this. -- soliloquy with you on this. thank you. mr. smith: i urge passage of this bill. thank you. mr. blumenauer: mr. speaker -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from oregon is recognized. mr. blumenauer: i give myself 20 seconds here. it's striking that somehow, giving assistance to 7.3
million people who get the tax credits, 16 million people under the affordable care act, to implement that, does not fall within the definition of taxpayer assistance. my friend, my friends smith, neither one of them could actually answer that. i think the telling. well, urn to my -- then, let me turn to my friend who will let me yield time to him. the distinguished leader of the democratic caucus and a senior member of the ways and means committee, and who thinks that we ought to provide service to our taxpayers, congressman becerra. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for four minutes. mr. becerra: so, one of the easiest things you can do to get people to cheer for you is to bash someone or something that
everyone loves to hate, as you have heard it said before. i don't know if there's a better example of this than the i.r.s. everyone loves to hate the i.r.s. at the enof the day, though, -- at the end of the day, though, if you want to have our troops paid, if you want to have our security handled at our airports, if you want to make sure that our national parks are protected, you need to have the revenues. so we need the i.r.s. so that all of us who voluntarily are supposed to pay our taxes do so. and pay our fair share. but again, we could all point to the story of the case where the i.r.s. flubbed it, didn't do a good job. so it is easy to pile on. if we could create a pinata that looked like the i.r.s., i guarantee you it would be the hottest selling pinata in the history of pinata making. let's put that on the table. it's easy to bash the i.r.s. let's go to this bill, though,
because what will this bill do? first, it does some really strange things and it does some really harmful things, but worse than that it's never going to become law. so we are spending time talking about something that's never going to become law. on what the bill does, let me give you a clear example why it is so unfortunate we do this i.r.s. bashing. one of these provisions tells the i.r.s. that it cannot retain the dollars it collects for, as user fees, for having provided services to individuals or corporations that seek out special services from the i.r.s. you got a big corporation. you broke it into pieces. you want to make sure you're filing your taxes correctly, you need a special advisory condition from the i.r.s. which isn't something they typically do for most americans, they say that's extra stuff. we are going to have to charge you a user for for having done that four. principally these user fees come from wealthier companies or individuals who have more
complicated tax filings. they have to submit. we charge them that because not every american has to request that kind of service from the i.r.s. i.r.s. collects that service. this bill says i.r.s., don't you get to keep the money. even though you had to provide the service and pull your resources and personnel from doing the regular taxpayers' filings and examining those who do the special work you cannot keep that even though you expend it, resources to do that work. the best way i could compare it to a situation i encountered recently. i participated in a funeral service. it was a very dignified service. at the end of the service in the place of worship, in the church, we all caravaned together with the here's -- here's -- hearst and the family of the deceased individual to the cemetery. it was a long line of vehicles, great service a. lot of people showed up. we were fortunate to have the
assistance of police officers who direct the traffic because we went through a whole bunch of intersections and had to make sure that to the degree possible we didn't disrupt traffic a whole lot and didn't have accidents on the way to the cemetery. it all worked out perfectly. at the end, once we reach the cemetery, the officers left. now, the officers did that job not because that's their usual course of business for police officers in our cities and counties, they did that because the police department offers that service so that we don't disrupt a greater activity around our city when there is a funeral. that way you offer the dignity to that family as well in the services for that deceased individual. you pay for that service to the police department because you pulled police officers off the regular beat to do that work. that's a user fee. this bill is tantamount to telling that police department -- one more minute.
mr. blumenauer: yield an additional minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman virginia tech. mr. becerra: this bill -- the gentleman is recognized. mr. becerra: this bill is tantamount to telling the police department you must provide that service for people to be able to have their funeral service, but you will not get compensated for your police officers being pulled from the regular duty of protecting our streets to help with that funeral service. it is inane. it's crazy to do that. so rather than do bills that are going to go nowhere, let's get our job done. we get elected to do important things. on the tax side, we certainly could do what mr. doggett mentioned earlier. let's go after those benedict arnolds who decide they are going to leave the country not because they want to live anywhere else, because they don't want to pay taxes in america. they are going to leave their place of legal residency as america, they'll have their home here, but going to call home somewhere else for legal purposes so they don't pay taxes. billions of dollars we are losing as a result of corporations and a lot of wealthy individuals
incorporating in places like the cayman islands. secondly, all the money being spent in campaigns today is being done by what are called not-for-profit organizations. we used to think we do social welfare. now they are spending money on campaigns. we need to stop that as well. that's what we should be doing. doing our job. not taking money out of an agency trying to make sure we do this the right way for everyone who pays their fair share. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from missouri is recognized. >> thank you, mr. speaker. we reserve the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from oregon is recognized. mr. blumenauer: i reserve. i don't think we have additional speakers. so we'll yield to you and then when you're ready, let me know. mr. smith: we are ready to close. you can go ahead. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. blumenauer: i appreciate the gentleman's curtcy. i hope -- courtesy. i hope there is an opportunity for us to take a hard look at
some of the issues surrounding the republican assault on the i.r.s. we have documented that they have dramatically cut not just the resources but the ability of to implement it -- the ability of people to implement it. there have been a refusal to hire some people, in some cases, who make for the government $5,000 an hour or more. these are people that would be dealing with audits for the people who, you know, for one reason or another, give themself the benefit of the out when it comes to filling out the tax forms. so this audit function makes a significant amount of money for the taxpayers. money that doesn't have to come can from increased taxes or reduced services. mr. speaker, there is a tax gap, it's well-known and well documented, $450 billion or more a year.
being able to adequately fund the internal revenue service will enable the government to deal with an amount of money that's due and payable and owing , and it's usually from -- because they have more money to lose track of or to be able to have different alternatives for how they are characterize it or how they choose to move forward. it tends to be larger -- tends to be business enterprises and people who have more money. but it is not just dealing with the audit function. i had a fascinating round table discussion in my hometown last month where i had attorneys and accountants who specialize in the practice dealing with tax practices. they were lamenting the problems not just the fact that there isn't effective audits anymore,
they think there are very few, but that it's more fundamental than that. they often will look one of their clients in the eye and say yes, you're right. there is a problem. the mistake is in your favor. but because the service level has been allowed to deteriorate so badly that it will cost you more money in my fees to get the 500 or $2,000 error corrected. that just makes one cringe. now, the notice that somehow putting money to implement the affordable care act is not customer service is ludicrous. and i tried to get my friends on the other side of the aisle to talk to me about customer service. to help n't being able people with the tax credit
involved with the affordable care act which over seven million people get, making sure that it is administered fairly for over 16 million people who fall under the affordable care act, how is it that not customer service? absolutely it is. this $500 million cut would further degrade the ability to provide the service that not only should we require but our employees and the i.r.s. want. i would strongly urge the rejection of this ill guided proposal. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from missouri is recognized. mr. josh: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker -- mr. smith: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, the i.r.s. has not vode showed this body, the movementians i represent, and they have not shown all of the american taxpayers that they have been good stewards of user fees they have a slush fund of nearly $500 million. and when this body over a course
since fiscal year 2013 has not cut one dollar, not one dollar has this body cut in assistance to taxpayer services to the i.r.s., the commissioner yesterday testified before the ways and means committee and id that he's the one who cut $134 million last year alone in taxpayer services. government is supposed to help serve the people. the people are not supposed to serve the government. and, mr. speaker, there should not be one agency that is independent of congress. agencies were created by congress, they should be funded by congress. and no agency should have a $500 million slush fund that they can choose money -- they can decide to spend the money any way they want. this is not an uncommon practice
for us to require agencies when they collect user fees to have congressional oversight and to be subject to appropriations. we are just trying to make sure that the i.r.s. is held accountable like numerous other agencies. with that, mr. speaker, i ask the body to support this great piece of legislation and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. all time for debate has expired. pursuant to house resolution 687, the previous question is ordered on the bill as amended. the question is on engrossment and third reading of the bill. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. third reading. the clerk: a bill to require that user fees collected by the internal revenue service be deposited into the general fund of the treasury. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on passage of the bill. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it.
the bill is passed. without objection the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. mr. blumenauer: mr. speaker, on that i request a recorded vofmente the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman ask for the yeas and nays? mr. blumenauer: do i. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this uestion will be postponed. the gentleman from missouri is recognized. mr. smith: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that the question of adopting a motion to recommit on h.r. 1206 may be subject to postponement as though under clause 8 of rule 20. the speaker pro tempore: without objection.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from north carolina seek recognition? mr. holden: mr. speaker, pursuant to house resolution 687, i call up the bill, h.r. 1206, the no hires for the delinquent i.r.s. act, and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 381, h.r. 1206, a bill to prohibit the hiring of
additional internal revenue service employees until the secretary of the treasury certifies that no employee of the internal revenue service has a seriously delinquent tax debt. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to house resolution 687 in lue of the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the committee on ways and means, printed in the bill, an amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of rules committee print 114-47 is adopted and the bill as amended is considered read. the bill shall be debatable for one hour equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority of the committee on ways and means. after one hour of debate, it shall be in order to consider the further amendment printed house report 114-0 -- 114-502, which shall be considered read and shall be separately debatable for the time specified in the report, equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent. the gentleman from north carolina, mr. holding, and the gentleman from michigan, mr.
levin, each control 30 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from north carolina. mr. holding: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on h.r. 1206, currently under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. holding: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. holding: h.r. 1206, the no hires for delinquent i.r.s. act, prohibits the i.r.s. from expanding its work force unless the agency either certifies to congress that i.r.s. employees do not have seriously delinquent tax debts, or explains why the agency is unable to provide this required certification. i want to commend my friend, mr. rouzer, from north carolina, my colleague, for
helping bring attention to the fact that some of the i.r.s.'s own employees, mr. speaker, their own employees, have serious delinquencies on their personal tax obligations. the american public expects i.r.s. employees the same -- employees, the same people, the same employees that audit american taxpayers, to abide by the federal tax laws they enforce. however, mr. speaker, just last year the treasury inspector general for tax administration reviewed the i.r.s.'s handling of employees that were found to have willfully violated the tax laws. so that is the i.r.s., how they're handling the matter of their own employees, willfully violated the tax law, and shockingly, mr. speaker, in 61% of those cases, of i.r.s. employees who have willfully violated the tax law, the i.r.s. decided to retain the
employees and failed to document why these employees were not fired. mr. speaker, this is unacceptable. and the american people deserve better. allowing i.r.s. employees to continue administering our tax laws when they themselves are in violation of that law undermines the trust of the american taxpayer. my friend, mr. rouzer, -- my friend, mr. rouzer's, a legislation is a step in restoring the public's trust in the i.r.s. mr. speaker, at this point i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. levin: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i shall consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. levin: this is really a couple of sad days for this institution. here we are filling in time with bills that are going
nowhere, and are deeply mistaken. o action on the budget, no action on the tragedy in flint, no action on the needs of uerto rico, no action on zika. essentially the republicans ere are no action. so instead they bring up this 1206. of bills and now just look at it carefully. with this -- what this bill does is to say that the i.r.s. cannot hire a single person until the secretary of the treasury issues a written certification that not a single employee in the entire agency
has a serious tax debt. so when an employee quits or is terminated, that position could not be filled until an examination was completed of the tax status of every one of the 80,000 i.r.s. employees. realistically, to certify that no single employee has a significant tax debt, the i.r.s. would need to immediately and continuously terminate any employee with a federal tax lean. the i.r.s. already has the authority to terminate an employee for delinquent taxes. as was established in 1998, in section 1203 of the i.r.s. restructuring and reform act. the white house's statement of administration policy says that the bill is, and i quote, as rkable in operation,
seriously delinquent debts could be as low as $1 and tax leans are recorded on a case by case basis. this bill is yet another politically motivated attack on the i.r.s. and its 80,000 employees who have one of the lowest rates of tax delinquency in the federal government at around 1%. i wish you'd just look at the chart and see where the i.r.s. is, compared to the congress. if you really are worried, gentlemen and ladies, about tax delinquency, we would need to look no further than here in the house where tax delinquency among employees is more than 5%. the administration opposes this bill, stating further, these
bills would impose unnecessary constraints on the i.r.s. operations, without improving the agency's ability to administer the tax code and serve taxpayers. as i said at the beginning, there's a lot of work that should be undertaken in this house. instead, this is essentially an empty chamber with empty legislation. these bills are nothing more than a distraction to cover up the basic failure of the republican majority to bring on legislation that would truly meet the needs of the american people. so i urge that we oppose this bill and i ask unanimous consent that the gentleman from georgia, mr. lewis, a most distinguished member of our
ommittee, control the remained er of our time. the speaker pro tempore: without objection -- the remainder of our time. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman reserves and the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. mr. holding: thank you, mr. speaker. it's with pleasure that i yield as much time as he may consume to the sponsor of this legislation, the gentleman from north carolina, mr. rouzer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. rouse rouse thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like -- mr. rouzer: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to thank my colleague and friend from north carolina, mr. holding, for yielding time to discuss this bill. i filed this bill, h.r. 1206, the no hires for the delinquent i.r.s. act, in response to reading news reports of more than 1,500 employees at the i.r.s. who willfully, again, willfully, failed to follow their own tax guidelines, and in a number of cases where they were found to be seriously delinquent on their taxes.
for starters, it's the height of hypocrisy for the very agency that is charged with collecting taxes to have employees who refuse to adhere to the standards and guidelines for which the rest of us must follow and abide. of course, this is in addition to the egregious behavior and abuse of power some in the agency displayed when they targeted organizations for their political affiliation and beliefs. we all remember how the i.r.s. misled taxpayers and the congress in an effort to deny that such activity ever even occurred. thankfully the truth always has a way of being revealed. at least eventually. i think we can all agree that the american people deserve a government that works for them, not against them. certainly the i.r.s. is one of the most cumbersome, customer-unfriendly agencies in the federal government, regardless of how much they're funded. anyone who denies this hasn't been listening to the american people. let me be clear. there are plenty of fine civil
servants working hard over at the i.r.s. and in all the other agencies of the federal government. the culture of arrogance and unchecked bureaucracy power that is developed within -- bureaucratic power that has developed within these agencies that is the problem and the catalyst for the type of disregard and double standard this bill aims to help address. the gentleman will not yield. this culture starts with the leadership at the top. mr. speaker, this bill is very simple. it prohibits the i.r.s. from hiring any new additional employees until the agency can certify that every one of their employees who are out of step with the tax requirements imposed on the american people have a plan to achieve compliance. now, who can argue against this? for all the moaning and groaning i've heard from the other side of the aisle the past couple of days, this is not a bill that merits even one vote of opposition. this is a commonsense bill that will help encourage the i.r.s. to clean up its act and i
encourage my colleagues to vote for it. mr. speaker, i yield back my time. mr. holding: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. louis louis mr. speaker, -- mr. lewis: mr. speaker, i rise in strong opposition to the , banning the i.r.s. from hiring anyone, not , e person, not one individual until the i.r.s. proves that there is not a single employee in the entire agency with a serious tax debt. mr. speaker, i ask, how can a hiring freeze possibly help taxpayers? every person in this body knows that the i.r.s. already has the authority to fight anyone, any
employee, for serious federal tax issues. congress gave the i.r.s. this power in section 1203 of the i.r.s. restructuring and reform act. 1998. signed into law in and it is working. last year, mr. speaker, the department of treasury had a lower tax delinquency rate than any federal agency, and lower than the american public. lower than the congress. this is a mean piece of legislation. it's not right. it is not fair. it is mean-spirited. so i ask you, why do we want to punish these federal employees?
why do we want to go after the majority of i.r.s. workers who are just hardworking, dedicated public servants? more importantly, mr. speaker, what good does this bill do? every year, not one year, but every year the i.r.s. is expected to do more with less. we cannot get blood from a turnip. this legislation does nothing to help taxpayers get the service they need and deserve. this does nothing, not one hing, to fight identity theft. his does nothing to stop stolen returns, does nothing to help the taxpayers speak to a
live i.r.s. staff person in a timely manner. mr. speaker, this bill is all about a message. it is a talking point. it is so sad that we have come to this point. as a congress, we can do better. mr. speaker, some of us here are ready to do the people's work. this is purely a waste of time. mr. levin stated this piece of legislation is not going anywhere. last week i introduced a taxpayer assistance act, responding to the real knead needs of american tax -- real needs of american taxpayers. the many other good ideas to help taxpayers -- there are many other good ideas to help taxpayers, but these bills are not being considered by this body this week. instead, mr. speaker, we are
considering a bill, as i said before, that is mean, downright mean. a bill that is unnecessary, a bill that would do more harm than good. we owe it to ourselves and we owe it to the american people, to the american taxpayer, to do better. we can do better. mr. speaker, i urge each eanch one of my colleagues to vote no on this pointless and harmful iece of legislation. it's the right thing to do. to vote no. this is not good for the congress. it's not good for the ways and means committee. why do we want -- it's pointless. one 's pointless to punish
i.r.s. worker. more than 80,000 employees. for one person, just one person, , they cannot hide any employee. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. >> mr. speaker, the american people deserve and expect all i.r.s. employees to abide by the federal tax laws. and that the i.r.s. is charged with administrating. mr. holding: period. end of story. with that i yield two minutes to the gentlelady from california, mrs. walters. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. miss bought walters:00 -- mrs. walters: i rise today in support of the no hires for the delinquent i.r.s. act. etween 2004 and 2013, nearly
1,600 i.r.s. employees intentionally violated tax laws. according to the treasury inspector general for tax administration, just last year the same inspector general reported that the i.r.s. rehired 141 former employees who had bungled their own tax returns. five of those rehires had intentionally failed to file their returns at all. think about that for a moment. the federal bureaucrats who are responsible for ensuring the american people pay their taxes are not paying their own taxes. and they face no repercussions for botching their own returns. this is one more example of how washington is out of touch with the people it is meant to serve. it is no wonder the american people do not have faith in this federal agency. this bill will require the i.r.s. to exclusively hire employees who pay their own taxes. it is essential to protecting
american taxpayers and ensuring the i.r.s. is held accountable. it is just common sense. i urge my colleagues to join me in supporting h.r. 1206. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. lewis: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield three minutes to the gentleman from texas, mr. doggett. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. doggett: i thank the gentleman. this bill is just the next segment of republican tax distraction day. certainly we should focus on misconduct, on delinquencies from whatever the source. but here on republican tax distraction day, they are about distractioning attention from their failure to address the real problem with reference to deling womenies -- delinquencies and misconduct and that's a
problem they have shown total indifference about. for anyone who is listening even a little bit last week, world news around the globe focused on something called the panama papers. 11.5 million pieces of paper explored over the course of an entire year by the international consortium of investigative journalists detailing how some people, especially the very wealthy, have used the secrecy of an offshore tax haven in panama to avoid paying their taxes. and in some cases illegal money laundering by organized crime and other forms of official corruption. this isn't just an american problem, but there is no american exceptionalism to it, either. it is an international problem. our european allies have responded to the panama papers by initiating new efforts to try to get at this problem of tax abuse. and the truth of the matter is this is just the tip of iceberg
with this 11.5 million papers because it's only about abuse in one of a number of secret tax havens. but of course it did not attract universal attention. if you are in beijing today and you were to search for the panama papers on the web, what you would find is, sorry, no relevant material. and there is another place that you will find nothing about the panama papers, and that's in the house ways and means committee and the republican caucus. because they haven't been interested, they have shown constant indifference to problems that are general gwen rated from these tax havens -- generated from the tax havens, from the avoidance, evasion that has been going on with that ought to be the focus of our attention. i stead of real abuse -- instead of real abuse, they focus on imagined abuse. keep in mind by the way that this particular piece of
legislation is designed to cover i.r.s. employees for their delinquencies they bother to exempt the congress of the united states from that provision. but i think the focus ought to be on these abuses and delinquencies that are occurring in other places that are costing us real dollars. the panama papers show the importance of our working together with our allies to address lawlessness in money laundering and tax evasion. they show why we need to be participating in the base erosion and profit shifting initiative. do you have another 30 seconds? mr. lewis: i yield another 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. doggett: they show why the stop tax haven abuse legislation that i have introduced and the corporate exit fairness act to deal with those who renounce their citizenship, why they deserve a hearing and attention, the attention that they are not getting today or any day from this republican congress.
if this congress will do nothing to address this tax evasion and avoidance, the least we can do is to do no harm. but today's action does do harm. rather than getting at the real problems, they seek to limit an already underfunded agency -- mr. lewis: another 30 seconds. mr. doggett: they seek to limit, impair and hinder an already underfunded agency of doing its job of tax avoidance so everyone contributes to the cost of our national security and vital services. we need to be strengthening the law, ensuring fair enforcement, and ensuring that we have the resources necessary to keep america the strongest country in the world. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. mr. holding: mr. speaker, it's pretty straightforward. the i.r.s. needs to earn and keep the trust of the american taxpayer. and i say earn with emphasis because the i.r.s. has lost the
trust of the american taxpayer. allowing i.r.s. employees to continue administering our tax laws when they are in vigsevielation of the law undermines the people's -- when they are in violation of the law undermines the people's trust, it does not earn the people's trust. mr. speaker, i yield four minutes to the gentleman from michigan, mr. walberg. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. walberg: thank you, mr. speaker. i say thank you, mr. chairman, as well. thank you to my colleagues for their hard work on this package of bills. to rein in the i.r.s. and make it more accountable to taxpayers. earlier this week taxpayers in my home state of michigan and across the country reflected on another year of a tax burden that's too high and take-home pay that's too low. but not only is our current tax system broken, the agency in harge of enforcing it is, too. time after time the i.r.s. has
proven that it can't be trusted to clean up its act and fails to practice what it preaches. in a report last year the i.r.s. inspector general found that hundreds of employees are violating i.r.s. guidelines and failing to pay their personal tax obligations. those are obligations. and i tend to think that the good employees of the i.r.s. would be encouraged as well if their colleagues paid their taxes. the no hires for delinquent i.r.s. act would simply, and this is what we are talking about, would simply prevent the i.r.s. from any additional hiring until it verifies that its current employees have paid their own taxes. good friend, colleague of mine, has described this as a waste of
time. the single mom in monroe, michigan, doesn't think that's a waste of time. the family farmer in jackson doesn't think that this is a waste of time. the small business owner in charlotte doesn't think this is a waste of time. why? because they all have to pay their taxes on time. people who work at the i.r.s. should have to play by the same rules. as everyone else does. and in fact, that might assist them in making sure that congressional employees pay their taxes, too. and any other department of the federal government pays their taxes, too, because why? they pay their taxes and now they can do what their job asks them to do. good colleague and gentleman from georgia understands, i'm
certain, the principle that we both know well. where it says to whom much is given, much is required. much responsibility has been given to the i.r.s. much is required. pay your taxes. i urge my colleagues to support this commonsense bill and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. lewis: mr. speaker, i yield three minutes to the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. blumenauer: i ebb joyed listening to my friend -- enjoyed listening to my friend from michigan and i would just say why shouldn't we lead by example here in congress? to much has been given, shouldn't we have the credibility? i offered, if would have supported this bill in ways and means with a samplee amendment, i offered an amendment to apply the same provisions to congress. the house of representatives has
a worse record of compliance with our employees than the i.r.s. the i.r.s. has the best record in the federal government. every single department in the executive branch has a better record in congress. why should we have over 500 people on that chart not paying their taxes? if it's such a great idea that you can implement this smoothly and simply for the i.r.s., why shouldn't it be easier to implement with congress which has about 10% of the employees? but has more than -- has four times more delinquency. well, people on the committee were all aflutter. this was -- they did not on a technical basis allow me to offer this amendment. so i went to the rules committee. you know, i think this is a good principle.
people ought to pay their taxes. but if you're going to use a sledgehammer like this and it's possible to administer, why doesn't it apply to congress? congress sets the rules. congress funds the i.r.s. congress passes that crazy internal revenue code that people hate and then blame the i.r.s. for administering what congress passed. i'm mystified if this is not just a stunt to try and divert attention from the fact that congress and the republican leadership has been attacking the i.r.s., defunding it, making its job a difficult job under the best of circumstances, why not apply it to congress? why shouldn't we set the example? particularly when we have more people under our employment who are on that big list.
don't we lead by example? shouldn't people look to us? the hypocrisy in not allowing my amendment to apply to congress may be one of the reasons why congress is the only entity in the federal government that has probably lower ratings than the i.r.s.. it's because we are not willing to be accountable. because we play games. because we do things that we know will never be enacted into law but is a good sound bite on somebody's website or a quick interview. i'm going to reintroduce this provision as -- 30 seconds? mr. lewis: i yield the gentleman an additional 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman virginia tech. mr. blumenauer: i'm going to give all of my colleagues an opportunity to step up, to co-sponsor legislation that would extend to congress the same degree of scrutiny as they
want to have for the i.r.s. even though the i.r.s. problem is much smaller than ours. it's less than a quarter. what's good for the goose is good for the gander. i don't know if this is sauce, but i would invite my colleagues to step up and not play games. have congress be accountable. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. mr. holding: mr. speaker, the american people deserve and expect i.r.s. employees to follow the same tax laws that they administer. the very simple. with that i yield two minutes to the gentleman from north carolina, the sponsor of the legislation, mr. rouzer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. rouzer: thank you, mr. speaker. there's several things that come to mind here. number one, each member of congress is held accountable every two years by the voters of their respective district. the last time i checked, this is referred to as the people's
house. we're either here to represent our constituencies and our people back home, or we're representing the bureaucracy. -- bureaucracy of the federal government. now i don't know what side my other colleagues, particularly on the other side of the aisle, care to be on as it relates to this. but i personally think it's important to represent our people back home, not the bureaucracies here in washington, d.c. the other thing -- i will in a second. the other thing i've heard as it relates to this bill is, it's mean. my goodness. what's mean about this? all it says is, when the i.r.s. can certify that they're employees, who who -- who are drink went have a plan to get back into compliance -- who are delinquent, have a plan to get back into compliance, they can hire again. until then, there's a freeze on hiring. there's nothing mean about
that. it's just good common sense. it's an encouragement, it is an incentive for the i.r.s. to clean up its act. and then we hear about the funding issue. i have never, ever, ever once heard the other side say that there was plenty of funding for any federal agency. the i.r.s. or any other agency. i tell you what's mean. and what's destructive. is an obstructive, intrusive federal government that does not allow the individual american people and our families to do what they do best, and that's grow a business, make a profit, create jobs. i read somewhere, not long ago, that rules and regulations of the i.r.s. and elsewhere -- mr. holding: an additional 30 seconds. mr. rouzer: rules and regulations have cost this economy $2 trillion in the last fiscal year. .2 trillion
if we got rid of the rules and regulations that are harming the economy, keeping our economy from growing, guess what, the i.r.s. would end up having a whole lot more money. mr. blumenauer: would the gentleman yield to a question? why shouldn't we have the same rule apply to the 10,000 employees of the house of representatives? mr. rouzer: this bill is about accountability. every member of this congress is held accountable every two years. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. louisiana louisiana mr. speaker, i yield three -- louis louis mr. speaker, i yield three -- mr. lewis: mr. speaker, i yield three minutes to the gentleman from illinois, mr. davis. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. davis: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank my colleague for yielding. i rise in strong opposition to h.r. 1206, which would restrict the i.r.s.'s ability to hire qualified personnel until it has documented that each one of its 80,000 employees have not
olated an unusual, uncertain tax standard. this legislation is totally unnecessary. and promises to further undermine taxpayer service and enforcement. first of all, it's totally unnecessary. suggesting that i.r.s. employees are tax delinquent, when in reality, i.r.s. employees demonstrate a tax compliance rate much higher than that of the members of congress. -- congress or other federal agencies. only -- well, let's say this. 99% of i.r.s. employees are tax compliant. in contrast to only 95% of the house of representatives. further, i.r.s. employees already are subject to the federal payment levee program
that can levee federal salaries to recover tax debts. certainly this is a bill in search of a problem. secondly, this bill would further impede the ability of the i.r.s. to serve taxpayers and enforce tax laws. due to republican instistence on dramatically reducing the i.r.s. funding by over $1 billion in the last five years, the i.r.s. has already experienced extraordinary reduction in personnel and service. seven former i.r.s. commissioners from both parties have spoken about this unprecedented reduction and its negative impact on our tax system. my constituents, your constituents, constituents all over the country have suffered enough. our national debt has suffered.
every time we collect $1, that yields another $4 in revenue. so i would urge my colleagues to vote against this bill. i certainly will do so. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. mr. holding: mr. speaker, the gentleman notes the federal payment program and i'd like to clarify that this bill would only treat the employee as seriously delinquent in the most egregious case where no mamentes -- where no payments are being made. can be impacted. most employees would fall within one of the exceptions and would be within the definition of seriously delinquent. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. louis louis mr. speaker, -- mr. lewis: mr. speaker, i yield
one minute to the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer. mr. blumenauer: i appreciate the gentleman's courtesy. i like the notion of accountability and the true, we are up for election every other year. and i'm sure that my friend from north carolina has a system in his office to make sure that the 18 people who work for him are not on this list of over 500 people. but that's not suitable accountability. we're talking about an entire agency. i think there's no good reason that we shouldn't have the same sort of accountability for almost 10,000 people who work for the house of representatives. shouldn't we collectively set an example? after all, there are four times as many people who have tax delinquency who work for the house of representatives. why shouldn't we set an example? if it can be easily administered and we want to send a message, why don't we send a message that we care about it? and we can learn from the gentleman about his system to make sure there are no tax delinquencies in his office.
i would like to know that. i'm sure the leadership of the house of representatives would like to implement it here. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. mr. holding: reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. lewis: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield three minutes to the gentlewoman from connecticut, ms. delauro. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. delauro: mr. speaker, i rise in strong opposition to this bill. it would hamstring the i.r.s., it would make no real impact on tax avoidance in the united states. the bill is shameful. we are serious about crack down on tax dodging, we would focus on ending corporate inversions. our government must stand up and say to these corporations, stop cheating the american
people. we cannot continue to allow corporations to pretend that they are american companies reaping the benefits that this country has to offer. and all the while claim to be a foreign corporation when the tax bill comes. they don't pay their fair share of taxes in the united states. corporations are cheating the american people out of revenue that could make such a real difference in the lives of children and families. so that they can dodge taxes and gouge prices. a quote from an article in "the new york times" last week, it says, the real welfare cheats. one academic study, he says, found that tax dodging by major corporations cost the u.s. treasury up to $11 billion a year. by my math, less than 1/5 of that annually would be more than enough to pay for additional costs of full-day
pre-k for all 4 year olds. prevent lead poisoning in tens of thousands of children. $2 billion. provide books and parent coachesing for at-risk kids across -- coaching for at-risk kids across the country. and family homelessness, $2 billion. the administration has issued new rules to curb inversions. but the congress, the congress needs to work to end this practice. it is absurd that the u.s. treasury does not have the authority to share a list of inverted corporations with other government agencies. congress can give them that authority. it is up to us to make sure the treasury can provide such a list. congress also needs to strengthen the definition of inverted corporation in the tax code. we should also consider inversions a deal breaker when we dole out federal contracts, inverted corporations should not receive federal contracts. they are bad actors, we should
not be rewarding them with lucrative contracts for moving their mailboxes to avoid paying their taxes in the united states. which is why congressman doggett and i introduced the no federal contracts for corporate deserters act. so that inverted companies will no longer be able to benefit from federal contracts at the expense of companies who do pay their fair share. instead of pursuing this unnecessary and misguided bill that would punish the i.r.s., but honestly makes very little impact on tax avoidance, we should go after -- 10 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. delauro: we need to go after those corporations, they game our system at the expense of the american taxpayer, of up to almost $11 billion.
wouldn't every american like to have an opportunity to be able to say that they can send their kid to school, that they don't have to risk homelessness, that they can provide their kid with an education, instead of these corporations taking and ripping off the united states. let's get real on the floor of this house of representatives. you want to do the right thing? you want to do what's morally responsible? then let us end these inverted corporations, let them pay their fair share of taxes or tell them that it is illegal and that we can prosecute them. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. mr. holding: mr. speaker, let me make a point that's being i think lost in the debate here. current law actually requires that the i.r.s. fire willfully noncompliant employees unless they have reasonable cause for not paying their taxes. that's current law.
yet in most cases, 61% of cases, mr. speaker, the i.r.s. fails to even document why delinquent employees were not penalized. in addition, mr. speaker, and i think the american people will be stunned to hear this, there are instances of i.r.s. employees who are delinquent in their taxes, who have not only not been fired, but have received bonuses. with that i yield two minutes to the gentleman from north carolina. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. rouzer: thank you, mr. speaker. you know, i've listened to this debate today and the discussion about inversions. you know, there's a broader point that's missed here. inversions aren't even an issue. if america is the most attractive place to do business. capital and investment goes where it's welcome, not where the unwelcome. why do you hear about inversions today? it's because we have an outdated tax code that significantly need rezz form.
-- needs reform. it's because we have more rules and regulations than ever before that's stifling the economy to the tune of $2 trillion annually. it's because we have a health care law in place that is killing the economy and job growth. i can't tell you how many businesses i meet and go and visit all across the district that are sitting right at 49 employees. i wonder why. it's because of the health care law that's unworkable and destroying the american economy. again, capital and investment goes where it's welcome. how do we make that possible again? we reform our tax code. so that this is the most attractive place to do business in the world. we get rid of the rules and regulations that make it so difficult to do business. all the rules and regulations coming out of labor, e.p.a., everywhere else. it's not just one, it's all of of them. it's death by a thousand cuts.
i can't tell you how many people i talk to all across my district that say, you know what, business is just no fun anymore. and so they're plotting their exit strategy. they're not plotting a strategy of growth, they're plotting a strategy to exit. . and retire with what an retire with what they are able to achieve so far. here's the fundamental question of this bill. are we going to be on the side of the american people, or are we going to be on the side of the bureaucracy? are we going to defend the e.p.a., are we going to defend the i.r.s., are we going to defen the department of labor? are we going to depen all these rules and regulations? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. rouzer: are we going to stand with the american people? that's yet before us today. mr. speaker, i yield. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from georgia is recognized mr. lewis: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield three minutes to the gentleman