tv U.S. House of Representatives U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN April 18, 2018 11:59am-3:00pm EDT
aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it and the en bloc amendment is agreed to. now moving to title 1. are there amendments available for title 1? mr. peterson: mr. chairman. mr. conaway: the ranking member is recognized. mr. peterson: i would like to strike the last word. can do i that? i want to ask a question about title 1. you know, as we work through this, i think you are aware and others that the only reason some of my producers have survived the last three years of low prices is because we had extraordinary yields. and it's saved us. and i've been concerned about what's going to happen going down the road -- >> we want to let you know this hearing continues likely throughout the afternoon. you can follow it on c-span radio on the c-span radio app, online at c-span.org. we expect resume television coverage over on our companion network c-span3 in just a bit.
here on c-span, we'll take you live to the house momentarily. they're gaveling in for a couple of i.r.s. and taxpayer related bills. one making improvements and modernizing the i.r.s. another improving cybersecurity and taxpayer identity protection. live coverage from the house floor now on c-span. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] the speaker: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offered by our chaplain, father conroy. chaplain conroy: let us pray, lord god of mercy, we give you thanks for giving us another day. our nation is powerful by the very fact that congress begins its work day with prayer, setting an example for all students and workers and people of this great land. it has done so from the very beginnings of congress itself. by seeking your presence and wisdom in moments of prayer each day, we humbly lay before you
our limitations and our hopes. we display our openness to your creative light to guide us in the decisions that must be made to stay the course of government of your free people. here the prayers of this people's house. and call each member to moral integrity and charitable bipartisan political effort that the course of government might roll forward toward advancements of the common good of our nation. may all that is done this day be for your greater honor and glory, 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 by the gentlewoman from north carolina, ms. foxx. ms. foxx: 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: the chair will entertain up to 15 requests for one-minute speeches on each side of the aisle. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. johnson: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. johnson: thank you, sir. you know, medical debt can be financially crippling. folks who have been fortunate enough to receive debt forgiveness should not face surprize taxes from the i.r.s. on that -- surprise taxes from the i.r.s. on that debt. the tax code is not clear on
this issue. therefore, it's possible for a taxpayer to have their medical debt cancelled but then be required to pay taxes on that forgiven debt as if it were income. that's plain wrong. to ensure medical debt forgiveness is not a taxable event, last week i introduced the medical debt tax relief act. i thank congressman john larson for joining me in this effort and i urge our colleagues to join us both in support of this commonsense legislation. yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. takano: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. takano: i rise to celebrate the life of kathleen daley. a dedicated member of our
community who passed away last week. i had the privilege of serving with kathleen on the riverside community college board of trustees. though she was a conservative republican and i a progressive democrat, never did our ideologies keep us from finding common ground when it came to serving our students. she taught me what it means to work with people who have a differt way of seeing things and her deep understanding of budgeting was vital to lifting the college out of severe financial hardship. through her service to the college as well as many local nonprofit organizations, kathleen's commitment to our community improved the lives of eople across the inland empire region. my condolences to her family and friends. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempor the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from north carolina seek recognition?
ms. foxx: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. forks: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today, like so many others, to honor the memory of barbara bush. she's already been noted in the history books as one of only two women to be the wife of one husband and the mother of another. but for millions of americans, barbara bush's legacy is deeply personal. as first lady, she drew attention to the iss of family literacy in a way that resonated with the american public. in our own straightforward and downto earth way, she worked to remove the shame and stigma of illiteracy for adults. she knew and believed that children of the future, but she cognized if a child's parents didn't have basic reading and writg skills, the whole family's future is at risk. as the house continues to focus on work force development and closing the skills gap, it is fitting to recognize theoice
barbara bush gave to that basic cornerstone of all education, the power of reading. she embraced life-long learning and the best way to honor her legacy is to do the same. as chair of the committee on educatn and the work force, it's a privilege to honor her memy and her contributions to the work we continue do every day. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields ck. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recnized for one minute. mr. higgins: mr. speaker, 120 years ago, dr. park founded the first cancer center inmerica in buffalo, new york. for the last century, ross we ll park cancer center -- roswell park cancer center gave the world the first preclinical chemotherapy program, the
prostateant jen test and collaborating with cuba on a promising vaccine. and new immunotherapy clinical trials are occurring there today. in addition, prom -- in addition to promising new treatments, roz we will is home to the -- roswell is home to those afflicted with cancer. today we're urging the national cancer institute of health to renew roswell park's well deserved designation as one of 49 national cancer centers in the nation. new life-saving and life-quality treatments are within reach at roswell park cancer treatment. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one
minute. mr. smith: mr. speaker, a recent poll of texas voters show that they want to reduce and refor legal immigration and save jobs formericans. the post opinion research survey found that 63% of texans favor less immigration than the current annual level of one million. 56% support cutting the number of green cards by at least half. only 14% of the voters questioned want to increase immigration. the poll also determined that texas voters by a 2-1 margin want to end chain migration and only admit spouses and minor children of immigrants. also respondents strongly support work force verification to prevent illegal immigrants from taking jobs away from americans. congress should listen to texans' views on immigration policy. with the 2,000-mile common border with mexico, texas
continues to bear the burden of our current misguided immigration system. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california seek recognition? ms. pelosi: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to deprem. the speaker
pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. pelosi: i thank my colleague. mr. speaker, thank you, and i thank my colleagues. last night was a sad day for america. today, our nation mourns the passing of a beloved american, bold advocate for familiar hely, for literacy and a devoted -- family, for literacy and a devoted wife and mother, first ly barbara bush. mrs. bush brought civility and spirit to everything she did. her strength of character, of her principles, of her faith are a gift to our nation, a great gift to our nation. barbara bush was a woman of
exceptional grace, with an unmatched spirit -- again, that spirit and talent and skill for bringing people together. she was not only respected but adored by so many across our nation. barbara bush leaves a legacy in the barbara bush legacy for literacy and how she championed on behalf of children. all who knew her saw her immense love and bride for her family. she was a beloved matriarch for her family and a matriarch for america. and she always put family first. we hope that it's a comfort to president bush, 73 years of marriage. wow. former president george herbert walker bush, our thoughts and prayers are with you. to her children, including president george w. bush, only one other woman apart from
abigail adams, who was wife and mother of a president. her grandchildren and great grandchildren. our entire prayers go to the entire bush family. we want them to know that so many share in their grief, pray for them at this sad time and grateful to them for sharing about
a bra bush to the nation. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from indiana seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in strong support of changes to title 10 family pnning funds. currently abortion providers like pland panthood are eligible to receive these title 10 funds. but abortion is not family planning. it is family ending. it ends the lives of innocent children. it is an affront to the very definition of family. title 10 is planned parenthood's second largest funding stream, providing
around $80 million a year. america's largest abortion provider, which ends over 321,000 lives each year, should never receive a single dime of taxpayer dollars. i strongly support efforts to turn off the title 10 funding stream for planned parenthood and urge the department of health and human services to issue new regulations for the title 10 program that will stop funding for programs that include abortion. mr. banks: there are much better and life-affirming options than allowing planned parenthood access to taxpayer dollars. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from hawaii seek recognition? without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. gabbard: thank you, mr. speaker. over the last several days the people of hawaii have faced extreme and severe weather, islands mpacting the where far too many people are
living and struggling in chaos as a result of record breaking rain, flooding and landslides that completely devastated communities, homes, and businesses, washed out roads and led hundreds of people to have to be evacuated. many people are struggling without water and electricity. they're stranded. separated from their mily members and relying on airlift for basic supplies. me and again our community have come together proving to be strong and resilient, mobilized, to support and take care of each other. i want to say a big thank you to the mayor, the hawaii national guard, the coast guard, our brave first responders, organizations like the red cross, churches, schools, and members of our who have stood up and taken actions. doug philips who is running boats. laird hamilton who is running rescue.
another running the zodiac up the river. laura richards. so many more. looking forward to be on i couldy tomorrow to offer my support -- kaui to offer my support as our delegation stands ready to help them recover from this disaster. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> 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, this sunday, april 22, is earth day, and i'm proud to recognize the significant event and to reiterate my strong support for the environmental stewardship and conservation in my communities. from the days of a boy scout i learned the true value of nature and the value it brings. i live by the scouting mantra, leave the campsite cleaner than when you found it. 'd like to recognize the
wildfire preserve. this event awards the land ethics award for usage of native plants and ecofriendly design to create a sustainable habitat for wildlife. r. fitzpatrick: the winner was from new britain. i want to thank them for their dedication to land conservation and congratulate them on receiving this award. i'd also like to thank and recognize wildflower preserve coordinator kelly jocelyn for her role in support of this event. mr. spea i yield back. the speaker proempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from rhode island seek the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. cicilline: yesterday was tax day and this year millions of working men and women filed their taxes knowing that republicans want them to bear special costs so wealthy can get
a gigantic tax cut. it will raise the deficit by $2 trillion meaning medicare and social security are on the chopping block. this is not what we were legitimated to do. working americans deserve a better deal. working families deserve a ermanent tax cut, not the scam they've got. no secretary, janitor should have to pay a higher tax rate than the c.e.o. of their company. long past time. we should be promoting that gives families the tools to get ahead instead of further rigging the system to benefit the billionaires and millionaires. it's time for real tax reform and undo the tax scam that is going to hurt so many in our country. and 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? >> permission to address the
house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. es ms. esty: i recognize dr. montgomery and his courage has de him an institution in harlem. he joined the u.s. army air corps as a member of the tuesday key gee airmen fighting in world war ii. mr. espaillat: he was marching during the civil rights movement. he influenced communities far and wide, but we are so fortunate in harlem he worked to make the community a better place. montgomery's r. service to civil rights and principle of equality when he received the congressional gold medal, one of the highest civilian awards in the united
states. n 2018, i'm so proud we will honor on the northwest corner on 136th street to commemorate his legacy. thank you for allowing me to share this with you. we are hopeful his memory will continue to live with us. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado seek recognition? mr. polis: permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. polis: i rise in memory of my colleague louise slaughter. for my entire time as service in the house of representatives, she was my ranking member of the rules committee. i sat just a couple seats down rom somebody who truly was inspirational, a fierce at vow indicate for progressive values. and a woman despite her advancing years, always remained
ahead of the curve and future oriented. louise had an internal energy, an internal fire that's rare in this body and frankly rare across our country. she long stood for inclusive vision of america. q families and bt always stood for women's rights despite opposition on both sides of the aisle. i already miss and continue to miss to me was a friend and a mentor in this institution. and i express my sincere condolences to the family of louise mcintosh slaughter. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from maryland seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to speak out of order for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hoyer: when americans pay their taxes as millions did
yesterday, they expect rightfully that their tax dollars will be used to benefit the many, not just the few. however, that's not been this republican congress' approach. tax law the republicans enacted does little to help middle class working families and gives 83% to approximately 10 million people. 300 million and to people, 17%. according to the independent ng pat san tax policy center, the tax law will give the richest americans a tax cut of $33,000 wile those who are struggling the most will get maybe $40. their tax law is a breathtaking exercise in fiscal irresponsibility. handing our children and our
grandchildren $1.8 trillion bill they will have to pay. thanks to the republican tax law, the c.b.o. now project a trillion dollar debt every year for the next 10 years. somebody's going to have to pay that bill and it's our children and grandchildren. the american taxpayers deserve a system that is fair and promotes fiscal sustainability. the new republican tax law does the opposite. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from washington seek recognition? mr. newhouse: mr. speaker, by the direction on the committee on rules i call up house resolution 831 and ask for its immediate consideration. the clerk: house calendar number 140, house resolution 131,
ved,relhat upon adoption of this resolution it shall be in order to consider in the hoe any bill specified in section 2 of this resolution. all points of order against consideration of each such bill are waived. the respective amendments in the nature of a substitute recommended by the committee on ways and means now printed in each such bill shall be considered as adopted. each such bill, as amended, shall be considered as read. all points of order against provisions in each such bill, as amended, are waived. the previous question shall be considered as ordered on each such bill, as amended, and on any further amendment thereto, to final passage without intervening motion except, one, one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on ways and means, and two, one motion to recommit with or without instructions. section 2. the bills referred to in the first section of this resolution are as follows, a, the bill, h.r. 5444, to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to modernize and improve the
internal revenue service, and for other purposes. b, the bill, h.r. 5445, to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to improve cybersecurity and taxpayer identity protection, and modernize the information technology of the internal revenue service, and for other purposes. section 3. a, in the engrossment of h.r. 5444, the clerk shall, one, await the disposition of h.r. 2901, h.r. 5437, h.r. 5438, h.r. 5439, h.r. 5440, h.r. 5443, h.r. 5445, and h.r. 5446. two, add the respective texts of all the bills specified in paragraph one, as passed by the house, as new matter at the end of h.r. 5444. three, conform the title of h.r. 5444 to reflect the addition to the engrossment of the text of all
the bills specified in paragraph one that have passed the house. four, assign appropriate designations to provisions within the engrossment, and, five, conform cross-references and provisions for short titles within the engrossment. b, upon the addition to the engrossment of h.r. 5444 of the text of the bills specified in subsection a-1 that have passed the house, such bills shall be laid on the table. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington is recognized for one hur. mr. newhouse: mr. speaker, during consideration of this resolution all time yielded is for the purpose of debate only. i yield the customary 30 minutes to the gentleman from colorado, mr. polis, pending which i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. newhouse: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks.
the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. newhouse: mr. speaker, on monday, the rules committee met and reported a rule house resolution 831, providing for consideration of two important pieces of legislation, h.r. 5444 the taxpayer first act and h.r. 5445, the 21 century i.r.s. act. the rule provides for consideration of these measures under a closed rule. both of these pieces of legislation were introduced with bipartisan co-sponsors and both were passed out of the ways and means committee with unanimous support on both side of the aisle. yesterday was not only tax day, but it was also the last time the american people had to file their taxes under an outdated system. thanks to the tax cuts and jobs act signed into law by president trump, americans have much to look forward to, a simplified
tax system, lower rates, a double child tax credit to help every day families, a doubling of the standard deduction and the freedom to buy the health care plan that's right for their families rather than be forced to buy government mandated health insurance. as these reforms continue to be implemented and americans across the country have begun to see their paychecks grow and small businesses move forward with less regulatory burden, a bipartisan effort in the u.s. house of representatives to modernize and reform the internal revenue service has arisen. the goal is to redesign the .r.s. into a modern 21st century service. reining i.r.s. abuses protecting taxpayers from fraud and resolving dispute within the
agency. h.r. 5444 the taxpayer first act demonstrates a bipartisan comprehensive effort to modernize and improve the internal revenue service. this legislation makes numerous changes to reorganize the agency in an attempt to focus its efforts on customer service. it creates an independent appeals process to improve dispute resolutions and requires the i.r.s. to submit to congress a comprehensive plan to improve its customer service strategy. it requires the agency to maintain the i.r.s. pre-file program equipping low and middle-income americans with free individual tax preparation and electronic filing services. this legislation also requires the i.r.s. to improve efficiency, enhance cybersecurity and better meet the needs of taxpayers. by ensuring the agency sends notice to the actual taxpayer before contacting friends,
neighbors or clients when conducting an audit,can ensure americans recve fair notice and treatment. mr. speaker, the mission statement of the i.r.s. is to provide america's taxpayers top quality service by helping them understand and meet their tax responsibilities and enforce the law with integrity and fairness to all. unfortunately in far too many cases, the i.r.s. fails to provide the quality consumer service that they claim to strife for. the nonpartisan government accountability office reported in 2015 the i.r.s. had no strategy in place to define what quality service should look like nor did the agency have any plans to develop one. this is unacceptable. yeoh i am pleased the taxpayer first act requires the i.r.s. to work to fulfill their mission statement. the 21st century i.r.s. act
milarly will improve cybersecurity and taxpayer identity protection as well as reforming the information technology systems within the agency. the i.r.s. relies heavily on an aging i.t. infrastructure to administer the tax system. this infrastructure, some of which dates back to the 1960's, is unreliable and is not keeping up. as we just saw yesterday, mr. speaker, the web page for paying tax bills using personal bank accounts crashed, leading to treasury secretary my new hampshirin having to provide americans with an extra day to file their returns. we must bring the infrastructure into the 21st century in order to help taxpayers comply with their tax responsibilities.
unfortunately, these potential threats can include much more serious threats including potential attacks and fraud schemes that seek to exploit stolen taxpayer information. the act requires the secretary of the treasury to work collaboratively with the public and private sectors to protect taxpayers from identity theft tax refund fraud. this legislation also requires the secretary to submit a written report to congress describing how the i.r.s. can utilize new payment platforms to increase the number of tax refunds paid by electronic funds transfers, thereby streamlining the final leg of the filing process for taxpayers. it provides for further recommendations regarding methods to prevent identi theft and refund fraud and requires the state, local or federal agencies conduct onsight
of all contracts those receiving fedal runs and return information. these reforms are common sense and will prevent frustrated prolonged interactions with the i.r.s. which could be resolved online. mr. speaker, this is a straightforward and bipartisan rule allowing for consideration of two bills that will require the internal revenue service to put customer service feeds of the american taxpayer first and reform, modernize and improve the agency's infrastructure. the i.r.s. must prioritize cybersecurity and taxpayer identity theft protections. the underlying bills in this rule will do just that. i encourage my colleagues to support the rule and the underlying legislation to continue our historic efforts to reform our nation's tax system.
thank you, mr. speaker. and i reserve. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from colorado is recognized. mr. polis: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: you're recognized. mr. polis: mr. speaker, i rise in opposition to the rule for h.r. 5444 and 5445. i don't -- i suprt the underlying bills but the problem is these rules don't allow any amendments. we suggest an open process. i offered three amendments myself to these bills. my colleague, mr. sherman, offered an amendment to improve the bill. unfortunately, we've been denied a vote. instead, this body is having to debate on frankly issues just like yesterday. there doesn't need to be that much debate on. i would think these bills, like the one yesterday, could have been put on something called the suspension calendar which means they're not too controversial. usually the reason we do a rule is we allow amendments.
that's why we do that. and yet all the amenents offered were rejected. so we're kind of drawing out the time it takes to pass these bipartisan bills instead of spending the time on issues that the american public wants us to address. members on both sides of the aisle, myself included, are clamoring for debate around what's called an aumf, an authorization for use of military force bill to address the authority of the president with regard to syria, with regard to isis and other operations. we're still -- we're now four months into 2018. the house still has not considered a bill to protect our dreamers, our young aspiring americans. inaction, inaction, inaction. and even where we are moving forward with the bipartisan bill, we're shutting out ideas from republicans and democrats that can actually make the bill better. and i, as i mentioned, offered a couple of those to this bill
and the majority blocked those amendments on a party line vote. one of my amendments would have rovided clarity to consumers and the i.r.s. providing a for w for immune ilt cryptocurrencies. and another would have provided eased tax burdens in states that have legalized marijuana. all three have bipartisan support. you know, the rules committee could have granted the necessary waivers as they do on many amendments when they choose to and allow them. mr. sherman's amendment was actually germane to the underlying bill. there wouldn't have needed to be additional waivers that were granted. we could have advanced it to the floor for debate. again, these bills are largely noncontroversial. what is controversial is why won't the republican leadership
allow democrats and republicans to amend and improve these bills and, two, why we are when we way our time could have done it under suspension, voice vote, instead of dealing with the authorization for use of military force? i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. newhouse: i, too, sit on the rules committee. what we witnessed monday was an amazing thing. coming together in a bipartisan fashion on some very important bills to bring reform to the internal revenue service that i might respond to the gentleman's comments was a very open process through the ways and means commtee. at least a thre-year process working bipartisanly, very cooperative in a comprehensive fashion in
order to get the work done that was brought together, culminated with the work we see here today. as far as an open process, i don't know what could have been more open. it was one that was -- we can be proud. one we should more of in this institution, frankly. and so i'm very proud that we're able to be here today following a long history of using the closed rule process when we're considering these kinds of bills as it pertains to revenue. so with that, mr. speaker, i will reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from colorado is recognized. mr. polis: i'd like to yield 3 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from california, whose amendment was rejected in a party line vote by the rules committee and not even allowed to be debated for a moment on the floor of the house, mr. sherman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for 3 1/2 minutes. mr. sherman: vote against this rule for three reasons. first, it's a closed rule. you should always vote against
a closed rule. but second, it is the imbodyment of a pernicious -- embodiment of a pernicious tradition of always having closed rules on tax bills. that is outrageous. why would we not apply that to everything that congress deals with? we're told, well, if we don't have a closed rule we have to have an open rule. we don't want an open rule on a tax bill. you could have a structured rule. you could have germane amendments. what does a closed rule on every tax bill mean? it means that over 400 of us can never offer an amendment out taxation. and it also mns if an amendment isot debated in the ways and means committee and prevails or is defeated by one vote, then the entire house cannot chime in on that issue. we should -- the second reason to vote against this rule is to break this ironclad tradition of closed rules on tax bills.
there is a third reason and that is my amendment to strike section 202 was not allowed. i'm an old c.p.a. i headed the second largest tax agency in this country. i'm very interested in taxpayer -- easing the burden on taxpayers. this bill generally does that. but section 202 is designed, doesn't actually do this but it pushes in the direction of locking in the, quote, free file system. that's in a contract that the i.r.s. has with turbo tax, h&r block, which is supposed to allow everyone making under $66,000 for free. with touchon tax it's $30,000. with h&r block is $50,000. you got to gather your 1099, 1099-div, you ur have to correctly interpret that and enter it in the
system. there is a better system. it is called the preprepared tax system. it is being used in denmark, sweden, spain, belgium, japan, chile, and the united kingdom, not to mention norway and finland. the i.r.s. would send you the return. it's already filled t. they already have the information from your 1099's and w-2's. you could hit yes or make changes there on the screen or throw awathe i.r.s.'s version, go get turbo ta go to h&r block and fill out the old return the way do you it now. w, this provision, section 202, pushes the i.r.s. against going to the preprepared return system. a better system. a system that was explored in 1998 by a republican congress and mandated into -- and the i.r.s. was told to develop that system by 2008. the i.r.s. never did. so there should be an amendment to strike section 202 and push the i.r.s. toward a preprepared
return system where you could literally be done with your tax return in one minute and not have to keep track of all these pieces of paper and try to interpret them. now, there is a solution, because this bill will pass, this bill should pass. all the other provisions are pretty good. you can co-sponsor the tax filing simplification act. by doing that, you'd override section 202, tell the i.r.s. hat they have to go to a pre paired return system and we catch up with spain and norway and denmark and japan and really have a tax system where you don't have to keep track of all the little pieces of paper that the i.r.s. already has and you wouldn't have to interpret them and figure out where to put them in the -- in the complicated software when the i.r.s. already knows how to do that. so let's move -- i realize that turbotax, h&r block might lose
some money but this is a chance for taxpayers around the country to have an easy system. if you can't vote - if you can't vote against the rule and i wouldn't vote against th bill, co-espnor the tax filing simplificatioact. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from washington's recoized. mr. newhouse: mr. speaker, the ways and means committee put out a discussion draft on march 26 entitled "the taxpayer first act." the committee provided two weeks to collect input from members, stakeholder groups and others. i will say there was a number of substantive comments received and my understanding that the committee considered them prior to introducing the bill we have today. i would say let's honor that work. let's move forward with this important piece of legislation and i urge support of the rule. mr. polis: i'll point out, like every committee, you can always -- mr. sherman: i'll point out, like every committee, you can
always send a letter. but to take away from members their right to come to the floor and offer an amendment and get a vote is to relegate us to the same position as all 320 million americans all of whom can send a letter to the ways and means committee. and i'll also point out that the act i talked about, the tax simplification act, was referred to the ways and means committee, has a number of co-sponsors, and has never received a hearing or half a hearing or anyiscussion. so to say that the ways and means committee will accept our letters and therefore we should have closed rules on tax bills apply that to every other issue we have, every committee in this house will accept a letter from any other member, let alone any constituent -- mr. newhouse: reclaiming my time. reclaiming my time. the bipartisan effort in this bill is reflected in a very, very good way.
i urge respecting that process, respecting the comprehensive, collaborative work on this bill. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from colorado is recognized. mr. polis: mr. speaker, yesterday on tax day, the white house made an announcement about president trump's taxes. but it wasn't the announcement that americans were waiting for. instead of releasing his returns, president trump was actually just requesting an extension to file his 2017 income tax return which still will not be made public if or when he files it. it's a good reminder that president trump has broke with decades of tradition when as a presidential candidate he did not disclose his tax returns. mr. speaker, if we defeat the previous question i'll offer an amendment to the rule that will bring up representative eshoo's bill, the presidential tax transparency act which will require presidential nominees to disclose their last three years of tax retns. to discuss our proposal, i'll yield 4 1/2 minutes to the distinguished gentleman fr new jersey, mr. pascrell.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. pascrell: mr. speaker, yesterday was tax day. today is tax day. i call upon house republicans to allow review of the president's tax returns. now it is tax day again. so i want to reiterate and give my colleagues a vote for transparency. it was reported yesterday that the president filed for an extension on his returns, but while every president going back to richard nixon released his tax returns to the american people in the name of transparency and accountability, this president continues to keep his own finances shrouded in secrecy. he was told to disinvest at the very beginning of his
administration by the ethics commission. the president has not. so since february, 2017, i've been calling on the chairman of the committee of ways and means, which i am a member, to request the president's tax returns, which they have the power to do under section 6103 of the tax code. i've called up resolutions. 18 times the committee and the house have voted against seeing the president's tax returns. just seeg them the congress needs to look at his tax returns and out his conflicts and self-enrichment while in office. why did he support gig the wealthy and big corporations and giant tax cut and tax scam just passed in the congress in december? why is he letting lobbyists and
wall street and big oil write their own rules? candidate trump applauded himself as a successful businessman and would run the government like he ran his businesses. he did business with a likely money launderer for iran's revolutionary guard. this is a fact. in the republic of georgia, his partner was being investigated r bank fraud and money laundering. in indonesia, his development partner was involved in quote, unquote, dirty politics. in brazil there were criminal investigations. the f.b.i. is reportedly looking into his vancouver hotel where one of the trumps worked with a malaysian family that admitted to financial fraud. in new york, donald junior and
ivanka were investigated for financial crimes. when he became the president, he did not divest himself from his business. since then, there is no question that mr. trump has profited from the taxpayers, from their government positions as have the members of his cabinet. the examples of self-dealing and quid pro quos are myriad to recount. here's just a few. january 23, 2017, saudi arabia held a party at the trump hotel after renting rooms for lobbyists for five months. i know this is unpleasant to listen to, but we have a right. and i return you to april of 2014, when the speaker of this house presently was the head of the ways and means committee and dictated to us how they had a right as the legislation --
legislative branch of government not to go into the tax returns lois lerner who was being investigated. but we argued the p on 6103 and he said very specifically, this is our duty to oversee the executive branch of government. well, what's good for the good goose is good for the gander. and that's what he said. so, saudi arabia, on january 23, 2017 -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. has expired. mr. polis: additional 30 seconds. the gentleman is recognized. mr. pascrell: february 28, trump golf course roll back eliminating a rule on pollution on golf courses. april 4, state department ran an mar-a-lago.e ad for
september 19, reports reveal that the pentagon spent more than $130,000 a month to rent at the trump tower, more than twice as much as the other tenants. i got a whole list of these, mr. speaker. i bont bore, but we will enter them into the record. this is not the america i know and it is not the america you know. we have a right to put sunlight. that's our job. this is a checks and balance system, mr. speaker. and we need not to take advantage of it but we need to follow the rules. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. members are reminded to refrain from engaging in personalities towards the president. the gentleman is no longer recognized. the gentleman from washington. mr. newhouse: i would like to have inserted in the record the many groups that are supporting h.r. 5444 as well as the groups
supporting h.r. 5445. for the taxpayer first act, the americans forax reform, coalition for efficient tax adnistration, the national reign trade council, the app association, support the taxpayer act. as far as h.r. 5445, citizens against government waste, electronic transaction association, the national taxpayers' union, the taxpayers protection alliance, freedom works, the institute for policy innovation, 60-plus association, the institute for liberty, the council for citizens against government waste, less government and the small business and entrepreneurship council all join us in supporting not only the underlying rule but the rule,
but the underlying legislation as i would urge my colleagues to do. with that, i would ask mr. polis if he has any more speakers as i'm prepared to close. mr. polis: i yield four minutes to the the gentlewoman from california. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. eshoo: i thank the speaker and i thank the gentleman, my good friend for yielding. mr. speaker, i rise today in opposition to the rule and i want to urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to defeat the previous question so the house can vote on my bipartisan -- i want to emphasize that, bipartisan legislation entitled the presidential tax transparency act. now this bill codifies the long standing bipartisan tradition of presidents and presidential nominees disclosing their tax
return information to the american people. now as was said previously, yesterday was tax day. and it's an important reminder that as millions of americans fulfill their duty to file their income tax returns, the president of the united states of america still refuses to release his tax returns to the american people. i think holding the highest office in the landemds transparency. yet the predent refuses to honor what promotes trust with the american people. and as i said, both republican and democratic presidential candidates going back to richard nixon all voluntarily put their tax returns out to the american people. why? to establish trust, that they were transparent and that the
american people could see whether there were any potential conflicts of interests and many other things, because tax returns are highly ininstruct i have. and as i have said that has gone on for decades. i wrote this legislation in 2016 and i wrote it in 2016, there were two candidates, one from each party that refused to put out their tax returns. and i did not think that that was honoring the american people. taxby refusing to make this return public, the president implies he is hiding important information from the american people. so what this legislation does -- and again i want to reiterate, it is bipartisan -- it places into law disclosure by requiring the current president and all presidential nominees of both
parties to release their tax returns, because again, in a democracy, truth and transparency should be the gold standard. presidents and presidential candidates should be held to the highest standard of transparency to ensure that the interests of the american people are met. now, tax returns contain vital information, whether the candidate has actually paid taxes, what they own, h much they borrowed, who they borrowed from, whether they have made charitable donations, what tax loopholes have they taken advantage of and exactly what they are if they have. they are highly instructtive as to any conflicts of interests. the current president has 564 financial positions in companies located in the united states and around the world, according to the federal election commission, making him more susceptible to
conflicts of interest than any president in our history. only a full release of his tax returns will provide the public with clear information as to his potential conflicts of interests and potential entanglements with foreign governments and foreign businesses. this legislation again is bipartisan because transparency and good governance are not partisan issues. according to a recent poll, 67% of the american people -- mr. polis: additional 30 seconds. ms. eshoo: 67% of the americans believe that the president should release his tax returns since richard nixon have done. during the campaign the president promised he would do so before falsely claiming that he couldn't release his tax returns because of an audit. there is no such thing.
editorial board of the "washington post" wrote, the president is setting a precedent that presidents can promise one thing and do another. congress shouldn't accept this. this is an erosion of government government practice. mr. speaker, i couldn't agree more. and again i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, your constituents will reward you for this, because this is about transparency, about our democracy and about transparency being the gold sfarned. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado is recognized. mr. polis: gentleman prepared to close? mr. newhouse: yes. mr. polis: i yield myself such time as i may consume. so we have an opportunity to defeat the previous question and call up the bill to increase transparency with regard to the president. we also have an opptunity to reject a rule that excde good ideas where members of congress
in good faith offered amendments to improve the bill and they were denied. of course, two underlying bills are fine bills, we which is a broken process. it doesn't allow meaningful debate and process that doesn't allow any floor time for an authorization for military force or addressing the needs of our dreamers. unfortunately, these bills are brought to the floor under a closed rule. i urge my colleagues to defeat the previous question and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. newhouse: mr. speaker, i'm delighted my colleagues on both sides of the aisle have come together to work on the important issues covered in both of these underlying bills. this rule provides for consideration of h.r. 5444, the taxpayer first act as well as i.r.s. 5, 231st century act. it lacks a customer service
strategy nor does it have a system in place to measure metrics and benchmarks for success. additionally, the i.r.s. has not undergone organizational restructuring in the last 20 years. h.r. 5444 requires the agency to develop a comprehensive strategy for customer service and to submit that such plan to congress no later than one year after the enactment of this legislation. it provides for the equitable treatment of every american taxpayer including ensuring proper notice. . speaker, the i.r.s. spends $2.4 billion annually on information technology. technology that in some cases date back, i understan to the 60's. e agency struggles with undertaking and completing large i.t. modernization efforts to update its legacy systems which
therefore can put american taxpayers in a frustrating or even dangerous position. with the rise of tax refund fraud, a modern i.t. system must e enacted to ensure that taxpayers can comply with their tax requirements. h.r. 5445 modernizes and improves the tax paying experience, retrieving information, resolving issues and making payments. this legislation includes a number of provisions to strengthen the i.r.s.'s ability to proactively combat identity theft, tax refund fraud and ensures online secure processes. the legislation initiated by the people's house and signed into law by the president, president trump, just last year, it is vital the internal revenue
service undertake its own important reforms. no one enjoys an envelope stamped the internal revenue service. far too often taxpayers find them to be inaccessible, intimidating and unaccountable. the taxpayers deserve a robust agency with oversight protections and modernized systems. i'm proud to speak in favor of this bipartisan bill, the rule, and i urm my colleagues to support h.r. 831 and both of the underlying bipartisan bills. i yield back. and i move the previous question on the resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on ordering the previous question on the resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair the ayes have it. mr. polis: on that, i request the yeas and nays. 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. members will record their votes by electronic device. pursuant to clause 9 of rule 20, the chair will reduce to five minutes the minimum time for any electronic vote on the question of adoption of the resolution. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., inooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the gentleman from washington. mr. polis: i request a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: a recorded vote is requested. those favoring a recorded vote will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, members will record their votes by electronic device. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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 u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on april 18, 2018, at 10:55 a a.m. that the senate passed, senate 1281, mifwratory bird conservation commission. signed, sincerely, karen l. haas.
the house will be in order. members and staff take your conversations off the floor. the staff in the back will take your conversations off the floor. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material
on h.r. 5444, and pursuant to house resolution 831, i call up h.r. 5444, the taxpayer first act, and ask for its immediate consideration in the house. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 4 . h.r. 5444. a bill to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to modernize and improve the internal revenue service, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to house resolution 831, the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the committee on ways and means printed in the bill is adopted and the bill as amended in -- is considered as read. the bill shall be debated for one hour equally quided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on ways and means. the gentleman from texas, mr. brady, and the gentleman from georgia, mr. lewis, will each control 30 minutes. the chair recognizes the
gentleman from texas it, mr. brady. mr. brady: mr. speaker, now i would ask unanimousonsent tt all members may have five legislative dayso revise and and include remarks any extraneous materials on this bill currently under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. the gentleman from -- the gentleman will suspend. the house will be in order. members take your conversations off the floor. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. brady: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for as much time as he wishes to use. mr. brady: mr. speaker, today we're taking the biggest and boldest steps in 20 years to redesign the i.r.s. with the singular foe curks taxpayer service. this bill will redesign the time in twohe first decades. it refocuses the agency to live
up to its mission of putting taxpayers first. time in two finally, it will reign in -- rein in its enforcement powers to prevent future abuse. there are two important pieces of legislation being considered before the house today. h.r. 5444, the taxpayer first act. and h.r. 5445, the 21st century i.r.s. act. these bipartisan bills, the product of two years of work by the committee on ways and means, will make the i.r.s. a truly taxpayer first agency in a umber of different ways. first off, this bill puts an emphasis on customer service. we're requiring the i.r.s. to submit to congress plans to restructure the agency to ime efficiency, enhance fiber security, and better serve taxpayers. this will guarantee the i.r.s. is living up to its quality service motto while holding the agency accountable if it fails
to meet these standards. in addition, our legislation encourages the i.r.s. to adopt commonsense, customer service features commonly seen in the private sector, such as a callback option. secondly, we're overhauling the i.r.s.'s enforcement tools so families and small businesses can't have property seized without fair notice and due process. over and over again, we have heard stories from across the country of absolutely tragic of power by the i.r.s. for example, we heard from andrew, who served three combat tours in iraq. of power by the for then he came home and opened a successful small business in georgia only to have the i.r.s. fairly seize $950,000 from him. our legislation prevents outrageous enforcement abuses like this to protect american taxpayers from unfair seizures.
thirdly, the taxpayer first act reminds the i.r.s. they are not just an enforcement agency, they are also our tax administrator. that's why this bill changes the title the i.r.s. chief from commissioner to more accurately administrator. additionally, this is important, mr. speaker, we're shifting the burden of proof back on to the when examining when examining . this legislation establishes an independent office of appeals within the agency to ensure that taxpayers receive a fair and impartial review of disputes they may have with the i.r.s. it shouldn't take a freedom of information act request to see what evidence the i.r.s. is bringing against you. this legislation will require the i.r.s. provide you with your own case file prior to any review of your dispute with the agency. it puts taxpayers on the level playing field, which is where
they deserve to be. in the 21st century i.r.s. act, we are revamping the i.r.s.'s nearly ancient technology and better positioning them to actively combat cyber threats. right now i.r.s. technology is so outdated that some systems date to the 1960's. fax machines are still used for some official communications. the i.r.s.,dernizes assures the agency's accountable for the billions the i.r.s., assures the agency's accountable for the billions ofle toars in i.t. that it spends each year. lastly, the 21st century i.r.s. act enhandses the agency's ability to --enhances the agency's ability to combat tax refund fraud by strengthening the i.r.s.'s partnership with states and cyber security experts. this bill requires the i.r.s. to partner with states in the private sector to combat effective -- effectively combat identity thieves stealing or trying to steal our refds. i want to thank oversig
subcommittee chairman lynn jenkins, and oversight ranking member john lewis, for their tireless work on this important bill. with a new tax code, it's time for a redesign of our tax agency. this bipartisan legislation truly refocuses the i.r.s. to make it a taxpayer first agency. before i turn over the floor, i recognize a good trusted policy adviser and one of the very best to ever serve the ways and means in the house. david began his congressional journey in 2000 when he came to inturn for congressman english. david became a trusted voice for speaker john boehner, for speaker paul ryan and 2 1/2 years ago to me. this past year, with david's
steady leadership, we were able to pass the first tax reform in a generation that boosted our economy and helped so many american families. david's focus has been on making lives better for all americans and i stand here to tell him, job well done. david is a selfless public servant and sacrificed so much time away from his family, his wife and his daughters and yet he has served his nation so well. to say david works hard is an understatement. once he was asked how many hours he worked a week, he replied with, a lot. his witt and sense of humor has made days brighter. and i know, mr. speaker, i speak for all members and staff in the
ways and means committee when i say thank you, david. your service to the house, committee on ways and means, you will be debately missed around here, my friend. i ask unanimous consent that the gentlewoman from kansas, ms. jenkins be permitted to control the reminder of the time on our side. and i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: for whaturposeoes the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? mr. lewis: mr. speaker, i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for as much time he wishes to use under the rule. mr. lewis: mr. chairman, mr. speaker, i thank chairman brady for all of his great and good work, for all his help. mr. speaker, i rise in strong 4. port of h.r. 544 i'm proud to join the the gentlewoman from kansas, ms.
jenkins in introducing the taxpayer first act. i would like to begin by thanking the chair for her good and great work on this bill. it was a wonderful opportunity and a great pleasure to work with you, ms. jenkins. i would also like to thank our friend and colleague, the gentleman from florida, mr. buchanan for his determination to work together on behalf of the taxpayers. finally, i would like to ecognize our staff, karen, rasheell, michaela, liz, adam and jmilla for all of their hard, good and great work and we will never forget you. mr. speaker, the process and the -- inciteould insight
every member in this body, for over a year the ways and means committee hosted hearings and round tables. we asked democrats and republican members to reach out to taxpayers and advocates. we took our time. and mr. speaker, i believe that we did it right. together, we developed a bill that improves independent appeals process and taxpayer ervices. discussionrereesed a of the bill and improve taxpayer services. we reviewed the comments and tried to include fixes where there was agreement. the process for transparent and inclusive and was brought up
strong and timely. h.r. 5444 is a commonsense update to the structure of the i.r.s. and the tax code. in particular i'm very proud of our work to impositive i.r.s. enforcement. for example, we were able to address a shocking issue that the national taxpayer advocate raised in her 2017 annual report to congress. it's hard to believe that the private debt collection program cost us us three times more than it collects. this flawed program targets and abuses thousands of low-income taxpayers by enrolling them in an installment agreement that they simply cannot afford. that is not right. by removing low-income taxpayers
from the debt collection program, h.r. 5444 puts us on the right path. nfortunately, the i.r.s. experienced a problem yesterday. unfortunate. i'm glad that i.r.s. acted quickly and extended the tax filing deadline. these problems show us that we need to have an honest talk with ourselves about the work ahead. we all know congress cut the agency's budget by almost $1 billion since 2010. these reductions harm both taxpayer services and tax administration. i have said time and time again that you cannot get blood from a turnip. i look forward to working with our colleagues to ensure th ency has the tools and
resources it needs. it islso import that taxpayers, especially those who are low income, disabled and senior citizens receive fair, quality and timely help and support. through all this, mr. speaker, our subcommittee did good work, necessary work. from the beginning we committed to bipartisanship and we refused to abandon our course. mr. speaker, i'm proud of our product and process. at every crossroad, we remember the lesson from the past and chose to put the taxpayer first. again, i urge all of our colleagues to support this bill. i hope that we will continue to work together and improve the taxpayers experience. thank you. and i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia reserves her time. the chair recognizes the
gentlelady from kansas, ms. jenkins to control the time. ms. jenkins: i yield myself such time as i may consume. today marks a significant step forward for the american taxpayer as we take up the bipartisan taxpayer first act. the goal of this bill is simple. the internal revenue service being a truly customer service-focused agency, treating taxpayers with respect and dignity. i want to thank the ways and means oversight subcommittee ranking member john lewis for co-upon soaring this legislation with me. the subcommittee held 13 formal committee events er the past three years looking many aspects of how the i.r.s. functions and where improvements are clearly needed. it is in our interest for taxpayers to know that the i.r.s. is treating them fairly and with respect.
as a c.p.a. you heard me talk about my concerns of the interactions between the i.r.s. and taxpayers. not only have i heard these oncerns not only in my private sector but in my office. i have found many instances of just outright lack of common sense in administering our tax code. as we look at what changes are needed to be made, we focused on the relationship between taxpayers and the government. that means a customer experience akin to what americans expect from the treist sector with online services, call-back options and to make sure taxpayers receive a fair and impartial review of dispute, we established the independent office of appeals. this commitment to fair and impartial treatment is the bedrock of the safe americans' place in the i.r.s. the vast majority of tax receive news comes into the treasury
voluntarily. according to the national taxpayer advocate, only 2% of all tax revenue collected comes from i.r.s. enforcement actions. a service-oriented taxpayer first i.r.s. is key to supporting voluntary compliance. our bill makes permanent the i.r.s. free file program, which is not only a win to the taxpayer but saves the i.r.s. time as well. this commonsense provision is one of the many included in this legislation that has strong bipartisan support and furtherers the i.r.s. mission to promote electronic filing. this bill includes taxpayer protections to ensure that the i.r.s. enforcement powers are fair and transparent. for example, this bill includes safeguards to ensure that individuals and small businesses are protected from improper seizures by the i.r.s. lastly, this bill tasks the
i.r.s. to develop and submit to congress a comprehensive plan to restructure the agency ensuring that it is thus positioned to pete the needs of taxpayers today and into the future. in short, this is the reform i promised my constituents in kansas and the reforms that all americans deserve. i would like to note we have received a score from the congressional budget office which i would like to insert for the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. so ordered. the chair recognizes the gentleman from georgia. mr. lewis: i yield three minutes to the gentlelady from california, my good friend, congressman eshoo. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california is recognized for three minutes. ms. eshoo: i thank our beloved john lewis for yielding tile to me. i rise in strong support today of h.r. 5444 the taxpayer first act.
this is bipartisan legislation and it was unanimously reported out by the committee on ways and means on april 13 and it includes a number of important provisions that will modernize as the members been sagan improve how the i.r.s. administers the federal tax code. the legislation also makes permanent a popular i.r.s. program that has helped prepare 50 million free returns and e-filings over the last 15 years saving taxpayers more than $1.5 billion, with a b, in tax compliance costs and that fram is the free file program. it is a partnership between the i.r.s. and the tax preparation community that provides free individual tax preparation and e-filing services to taxpayers
with incomes in the bottom 70%. i have been a strong supporter of stand-alone legislation on this issue and i'm pleased to see it is included in h.r. 5444. the free file program is also a product of the decentralized system of private taxpayers that we have in place for the american public to file their taxes each year. consumers have a choice when it comes to who they choose to prepare their taxes and choice is a product of competition and the primary ingredient for innovation. some have argued that this should be a centralized system requiring all taxpayers to file their tax returns using one system housed under one roof. but just yesterday, we saw the i.r.s. electronic filing system and e-services crash and they remained out of services for most of the day.
i think taxpayers are better served when they have a decentralized system that will continue toun smoothl. we le every day with the increasing threat of data breaches and cyberattacks that threaten the financial stability of more and more americans and even greater argument against housing our tax infrastructure under one roof. imagine the target this could create to the world's most dangerous cyber criminals. i'm proud to support this bipartisan legislation, because i think it's an excellent example of what both sides of the aisle, republicans, democrats can do when we work together for the good of the american people. so i urge all of my colleagues to vote aye on h.r. 5444 and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california yields back. the gentleman from georgia
reserves his time. and the gentlelady from kansas is recognized. ms. jenkins: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from illinois, mr. roskham. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. ross: i thank you for your work on this and the drk mr. roskam: and this deals with forfeiture abuses and i urge the other body to take this up. one of the themes is the free file program, why it's important. she mentioned a decentralized program which makes all the sense in the world. she mentioned a level of predictability. there are opponents to this, however. and i just scratch my head when people come and fringe groups that have said that is a bad idea and what they are proposing is this, that the internal revenue service fills out your tax returns, that your internal
revenue service acts as judge, jury and executioner. that's a terrible idea. that is called ready return. we ought not do that. . instead let's to this program, it saves untold sums of money, it is a great benefit to modest taxpayers, those who arearning less than $66,000 in their income. gross and it also puts the onus on the private sector to actively participate in this process. in a nutshell this is a gad bill, well thought out, it's bipartisan, it's been well crafted and contemplated. i urge its passage. i yield back. i thank the gentlelady. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. i'm ewis: mr. speaker, pleased to yield four minutes to the gentleman from oregon, congressman blumenauer, who is a member of the full and subcommittee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oregon is recognized for four minutes. mr. blumenauer: thank you. i appreciate the gentleman's
courtesy and hard work with chair jenkins. moving this forward this is an example of many people don't think it's earth shaking, but being able to come together and deal with things that make a difference with the i.r.s., which is the largest voluntary tax compliance system in the world is very important. i'm pleased the reference to 13 hearings and a lot of the back and forth being able to reach consensus. let me say i wish that those two people who led this effort had been empowered to to a deep dive into some of the that's been ty imposed on the i.r.s. since 2010, the i.r.s. is dealing with more and more that returns, which are more and more , and my republican
friends have slashed the people who work on it. we haven't modernized the computer system. those of us who took first computer programming republican friends have slashed the people who in the 1970's might be equipped to work on. it's so outdated. we have cut the people who were involved with enforcement. i would wish that everybody would voluntarily comply, but everybody doesn't. and as a result, those people who work on enforcement make about $6 for the taxpayer for evyle toar we invest in their efforts. and more important, it is a signal that everybody's going to be treated fairly. or people who cut corners who forget or outright cheat are taking away money from the government and putting the burden on others who not only have to or who forget pick up the slack bu the people who cheat get an unfair advantage in how they do
business. they are more profitable because they don't pay their full freight. that's stupid. it's unfair. and it's counterproductive. that's one of the reasons why we tax gap.50 billion the difference between what is owed as a result of people's tax liability and what is paid. my friend on the other side of the aisle -- my friends on the other side of the aisle have been involved with punishing the i.r.s. for things real and imagined. -- but who's ly really suffered has been the taxpayer. people who can't get their phone calls answered. people who don't have staff in customer service who could readily answer concerns that taxpayers have. i'm outraged when i hear
attorneys, accountants in my community say, yeah, i had a client who had a legitimate claim and they would have gotten that $4,000 back, but i had to tell them that it would -- because of the dysfunctionality and the underinvestment in the i.r.s., it would cost them more fo to fix it for them than they would get back. that's a scandal. we ought to make sure that we have a fully functioning i.r.s. that meets the needs of the taxpayers, that gives them the answers that they need, and that makes a very clear signal that everybody needs to fulfill their civic obligations to pay their taxes. and that businesses that cheat or forget are not going to get an unfair advantage over people that work hard to follow the les and our deficit would be
$450 billion less if we did this properly. but i must confess one of the other reasons that i'm really deeply concerned about now is -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman for an additional 30 seconds. additional minute. mr. blumenauer: let me -- the speaker pro tempore: two minutes. mr. blumenauer: ok. thank you so much, mr. lewis. because i wanted to make one other point. it wasn't just that we weren't able to do a deep dive on the causes of dysfunctionality and underinvestment in the i.r.s., it's no secret that one of my highest priorities as a member of congress and as a member of the ways and means committee was to be there to help us fulfill on that sibility
committee dealing with the resources necessary to rebuild and renew america. it's no on that committee secret that america i lling apart while we're -- while we are falling behind. we have a growing fwap in our highway trust fund -- gap in our highway trust fund that has lost 40% of its purchasing power. we're not able to meet our current commitments, let alone the commitments we have in the future. the ways and means committee allowed the superfund tax to expire. now we have a superfund to clean up after toxic waste that has blighted communities across the country, but we no longer have a tax that pays for it. so that burden has been shifted to innocent parties and local government. i have been working with the last three chairs of our ways and means committee.
asking that we have some robust hearings on our responsibility for transportation. the transportation infrastructure committee deals with the authorization of the surface transportation act, but the ways and means committee is responsible for funding it. you know, a couple weeks ago there was a hearing on the t.n.i. committee on our job. they heard from witnesses from labor, from business, u.s. chamber, trucking, a wide range of people who came in and asked us to raise taxes on them. the speaker pro tempore: the entleman's time has expired. the gentleman is recognized for an additional minute. . blumenauer: thank you. i really will wrap up. we have no hearing like the and i committee had.
they brought all the witnesses in to talk about our job. the and i committee had. they brought all the witnesses in to talk about our job. the last three chairs of the ways and means committee from my republican friends in seven years and three months have had exactly one witness on our responsibility to raise the revenue for transportation. not one hearing. we had 380 hearings. we had one five-minute witness talked about the need to meet our responsibilities. why do we have to go to the t&i committee to hear our job? is it about time that my republican friends allowed us to have a week or two to listen to the wide array of people who us to fulfill our responsibility to rebuild and renew america and to pay for it. it's past time for that hearing. i hope we have it.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from kansas is recognized. ms. jenkins: i yield three us t responsibility minutes to the gentleman from identify. -- from iowa. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from identify way is recognized for three minutes. >> i thank my colleague, ms. chairmanand mr. lewis, brady and mr. neal for working on a commonsense bill that's very bipartisan. we expect to see that on the floor as well as the committee. i rise in support of this great bill h.r. 5444, the taxpayer first act. mr. young: my bill, i thank the committee, h.r. 5386, the i.r.s. fair appeals saving taxpayers act, or i.r.s. fast act, was included in the final text of the underlying bill. so this bill in particular will help hardworking taxpayers inform gate the i.r.s. ways by -- navigate the i.r.s. maze by requiring them to turn over all documents to an individual or business if the taxpayer appeals the i.r.s.'s determination
decision. taxpayers are finally being given an equal playing field because under current law the i.r.s. will only turn over a taxpayers' documents through a freedom of information act, or foia, request, a process which st taxpayers don't know even exists. takes a long time and is difficult to navigate. in a court of law everyone has the right to see the evidence that will be used against them. and the i.r.s. is not above the law. and should not be able to play games with taxpayers. mr. speaker, it shouldn't take a foia, freedom of information act request, to see what evidence the i.r.s. is going to use against you. the i.r.s. fast act within h.r. 5444 will require the i.r.s. to provide taxpayers with their case file prior to any review of their dispute with the i.r.s. hey, common sense. and the taxpayers have a victory here. allowing taxpayers this
opportunity is an important step towards bringing accountability and transparency to the i.r.s. it will improve the experience for taxpayers when navigating the i.r.s. appeals process. saving them time and money. i'm pleased to see my bill included in the final legislation, h.r. 5444, the taxpayer first act. thank you for the leadership of my colleagues. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. lewis: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield three minutes to the gentleman from illinois, congressman davis, a member of the ways and means committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized for three minutes. mr. davis: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank mr. lewis for yielding. i rise in support of h.r. 5444, the taxpayer first act. in particular, i commend representatives lewis and jenkins for their leadership to prevent private debt collectors from pursuing tax collections from individuals and families
earning under 250% of the federal poverty level. i was deeply disturbed by the report of the taxpayer advocate which found that private debt collection enforcement this year targeted ssdi and s.s.i. recipients, subjected impoverished social security recipients to levees -- lembies, and put 45% of the studied taxpayers into installment agreements they could not afford. the private debt collection program appears to have increased the profits of debt collectors at the expense of the disabled, retirees, and impoverished counter to i.r.s. policy and decrency. creating an independent appeals process, improving the offer and compromise program, and dernizing the i.r.s. overdue
improvements. i thank ranking member lewis, chairman jenkins for their leadership and urge all of my colleagues to support this important legislation. i yid back the balance of my time. the eaker pro mpe: the gentleman yieldsack the bance of h time. the gentlelady fm kansass cognized msjeins: mr.peaker yield fourines to e gentman om tennessee, mr. stf the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman om tennessee is recognized for four minutes. mr. cussoff: -- mr. kustoff: i rise today in support of h.r. 5444. i do want to thank chairman jenkins and raing member lewis for their thoughtful approach to this legislation. many of these reforms i think we can all agree are long overdue and the american taxpayer deserves better. the i.r.s. to submit to congress a comprehensive customer service strategy and overhauling the tools of enforcement in order to protect the american taxpayers, we will be creating a culture at
the it agency that will focus on one singular mission. and that is taxpayers first. frankly, mr. speaker, this should be the motto of every federal agency. for the first time this bill will codify an important -- an independent office of appeals so that all taxpayers have access to administrative review process and gives congress additional oversight over the agency itself. it simplifies enforcement actions of the i.r.s. so that individuals and small business owners understand their liabilities and what potential actions could be taken by the i.r.s. also want to thank the commite for including a number of important provisions to this bill to protect taxpayers' identities and
further combat cybersecurity threats. in recent years we all know that millions of americans had their personal and final information stolen and jeopardized through data breaches to companies like equifax and target and even the office of personnel management. i am glad to see congress continuing to push for proactive measures to protect americans against tax fraud schemes by working with federal, state, and private partners. these protections will be important, especially if the i.r.s. seeks to modernize its services and their i.t. systems . with the recent passage of the tax cuts and jobs act, congress passed legislation to reform our nation's tax code for the first time in over 30 years. today, we have the opportunity to begin reforming the internal
revenue service for the first time in 20 years. this is vitally important legislation and i urge all members to vote yes. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. lewis: mr. speaker, i am pleased to yield three minutes to the gentlelady from alabama, cowomangress sewell, a member of the ways and means committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from alabama is recognized for three minutes. ms. sewell: mr. speaker, i rise today in support of h.r. 5444, the taxpayer first act. i want to take a point of personal privilege and congratulate the gentlelady from kansas and the gentleman from georgia for working together and showing the nation that indeed democrats and republicans can put party aside and actually get something done here in the nation's capital. i especially want to thank the gentleman from georgia, congressman lewis, who, of
course, native son of alabama. on this tax day, this bill is an opportunity for us to change the relationship many taxpayers have with the internal revenue service. tax season is a stressful time for millions of americans and the compliance burden on the average american and small business owner is unnecessarily difficult. we are taking important steps today to make the tax filing experience more sensible, fairer, and more efficient. the base text of this bill includes a text of a bill that i introduced with our republican colleague, jason smith, the preserving taxpayers' rights act. our provisions as a part of this bill will introduce process reforms in four ways to help the internal revenue service become more efficient and strengthen its ability to provide services to its customers. first, our provisions would give taxpayers a legal right to have their case heard by the
independent and impartial i.r.s. office of appeals to ensure the timely, efficient, and cost-effective resolution of any tax disputes between taxpayers and the i.r.s. secondly, it will ensure that cases that the i.r.s. designates for litigation can only be used where the matter involves tax abuse that affects a large number of taxpayers. thirdly, the provision in our bill that is in this underlying text would ensure that the use of designated summons that extends the time period for the i.r.s. to assess a tax liability are properly authorized and only used when taxpayers are uncooperative and refuse to provide information requested by the i.r.s. and finally, the provision would also prevent the i.r.s. from outsourcing federal tax audits of private taxpayers to outside law firms. in summary, our provisions in
the bill will improve the independent appeals process, ensuring that the existing rights of appeal is maintained and strengthen for taxpayers. overall, h.r. 5444 is a good bill that will make the tax filing experience much more sensible, fairer, and efficient. i urge all of my colleagues to support this bill, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentlelady from kansas is recognized. ms. jenkins: mr. speaker, i yield three minutes to the gentleman from illinois, mr. lahood. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized for three minutes. mr. lahood: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank chairwoman jenkins for yielding the time. i rise today in support of h.r. 5444, the taxpayer first act, and as i travel around my district, it's one of the common concerns that i hear and complaints i hear is that the i.r.s. is not user friendly, hat it is not attentive, and
doesn't -- isn't efficient, effective, and accountable. we do a lot with this bill here today to ch that, and this is a good piece oleslation. as well as ranking won member lewis for their hard work and leadership throughout the drafting of this legislation. over the past several months, the house ways and means committee and the oversight subcommittee, in particular, on which i serve, has focused on finding bipartisan legislative solutions which will make much-needed changes at the i.r.s. ensuring an efficient, accountable, and transparent i.r.s. is key to restoring the trust between taxpayers and the agency. it is also necessary for effective implementation of our reformed tax code. we have a responsibility to provide taxpayers with the tools and resources they need to make filing their taxes simpler, which was also a major goal of tax reform. we must ensure that the i.r.s. puts customer service first.
the taxpayers can have -- so that taxpayers can have confidence their information is protected and that we upgrade the i.r.s. technology for the 21st century. unfortunately, it has been over 20 years since major reforms were made to the i.r.s., but through the passage of this legislation and others on the floor this week, we have an opportunity to finally bring about these changes. i am also pleased that the taxpayer first act includes h.r. 5342, the improving assistance for taxpayers act, which i authored and introduced as part of this process. currently, the office of the taxpayer advocate, located within the i.r.s., represents taxpayer interests and helps address both individual and systematic issues at the agency. when it comes to addressing systematic issues, the taxpayer advocate can issue what is called taxpayer advocate directive. unfortunately, these directives
-- these orders and directives are not always responded to in a detailed and timely manner or even addressed at all. my bill aims to improve this process. specifically, the i.r.s. would be required to respond to taxpayer advocate directives within 90 days. we also establish an appeals process when the advocate deems necessary. if detailed and timely responses are not provided, the taxpayer advocate must report such instances to the congress. these changes will improve accountability and ensure substantive and timely answers for taxpayers dealing with an issue at the i.r.s. after two decades and with a new tax code to be implemented, the time is now to improve the internal revenue service through these bipartisan and commonsense reforms. we need to continue our work in putting the taxpayer first and i urge my colleagues to join me in supporting h.r. 5444, and i yield back my time. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman yields back his time. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. lewis: mr. speaker, i'm prepared to close. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. lewis: mr. speaker, working to improve taxpayer service is no easy task. every person in this body agrees on the importance of better access to quality taxpayer service, whether it is online, over the phone, or in person. the i.r.s. is a complex organization that is responsible for a core function of our government. we asked for input from members of caulk kong, the federal agency, members of the public. if you reach out -- members of congress, the federal agency, members of the public.
we wanted to put the taxpayers first. again, i want to thank the gentlewoman from -- my friend from kansas, ms. jenkins, the subcommittee members and all of the staff for their hard and great and good work on this bill. most important, members of congress must remain focus on doing what is right, what is just, and what is in the best interest of every american taxpayer. i encourage all of ou colleagues to vote yes on h.r. 5444. and with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlelady from kansas is recognized. ms. jenkins: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. jenkins: thank you, mr. speaker. this thoughtful bipartisan legislation will help refocus the i.r.s. on its taxpayer service mission. i urge all members to support
this legislation and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. all time for debate has expired. pursuant to house resolution 831 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 amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to modernize and improve the internal revenue service and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on passage of the bill. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the bill is passed -- ms. jenkins: mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i ask for the yeas and nays. 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. for what purpose does the gentlelady from kansas seek recognition? ms. jenkins: mr. speaker, pursuant to house resolution 831, i call up h.r. 5445, the 21st century i.r.s. act, and ask for its immediate consideration in the house. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill the cler union calendar number 489, h.r. 5445, a bill to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to improve cybersecurity and taxpayer identity protectioned a modernize the information technology of the internal revenue service and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to house resolution 871, the amendment in the
nature of a substitute is considered as adopted and the bill, as amended is considered as read. the bill as amended shall be debatable for one hour equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on ways and means. the gentlewoman from kansas, ms. jenkins, and the gentleman from georgia, mr. lewis, will each control 30 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from kansas. ms. jenkins: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and tend their remarks and include extraneous material on h.r. 5445, currently under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. jenkins: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. jenkins: we have a significant opportunity to improve tax administration as we take up h.r. 5445, the bipartisan 21st century i.r.s. act. this bill seeks to move the internal revenue service into the 21st century by placing a
renewed focus on modernization at the i.r.s. and improving the taxpayer experience. before we talk more about this bill, i'd like to take a moment to thank the bill's original cosponsors, representatives mike bishop of michigan and susan delbene of washington for their strong leadership on this bill. i'd also like to thank representative john lewis of georgia and his staff for being such great partners in this effort. i think this bill and the others we put forward as part of the larger i.r.s. package are all the better for having worked through this process in a bipartisan fashion. together we have helped 13 formal committee events over the past three years, receiving comments from a diverse of taxpayers, practitioners, advocacy groups and together we developed what we believe are bipartisan solutions that help improve the agency and more importantly the experience of all taxpayers. now, turning to this bill, over
the past two years, the ways and means oversight subcommittee has spent significant time on a bipartisan basis focusing on i.r.s. management and information technology and cybersecurity. through this process, we sought to have deeper, ongoing conversations with the agency to better understand its current and future needs and challenges. we've also met with taxpayers and other stakehoers to understand their experiences and ccerns and we have sought to provide strong public accountability for the i.r.s.'s i.t. and cybersecurity failures where we felt it was most needed. threes collective interactions help to -- these collective interactions helped to shape the provisions in the bill today. while the i.r.s. spends approximately $2.4 billion annually on i.t., it continues to struggle with undertaking and completing large i.t. modernization efforts to update
its legacy systems, some of which date back to the 1960's. . in the era of 5-g and broadband internet it's hard to believe the i.r.s. continues to use technology our children wouldn't recognize. in addition they continue to face ongoing cyber security threats and fraud schemes which seem to exploit i.r.s. systems and steal taxpayer information and refunds. these issues result in the waste dollars ns of taxpayer spent maintaining old systems. we have also seen these outdated systems severely impact the i.r.s.'s ability to assist taxpayers. dollars spent maintaining old systems. whether it be long processing times for tax refunds or frustrations over the inability to reach the i.r.s. by phone, e i.r.s.'s underlying i.t.f. all access the taxpayers' experience for example we saw
the magnitude what happened when the i.r.s. i.t. systems faile yestery starting at 2:00 a.m. zens of i.r.s. systems integral to a successful filing season went down. leaving the agency unable to accept tax returns on the day when they were needed the most. while the full impact of these outages seems -- remains to be seen, this is simply unacceptable. the bill before us today seeks to address many of these issues. it starts by requiring ongoing strategic i.t. planning, codifying and clearly laying out the roles and responsibilities of the chief information officer, and requiring additional oversight of two of the largest and most problematic i.r.s. i.t. systems. oing so strengthens i.r.s. accountability for its i.t. modernization efforts, ensuring that the i.r.s. spends taxpayer that produce
measurable results. this bill also encourages the i.r.s. to more proactively work measurable results. with its state partners and the private sector to proactively combat criminals who use taxpayer information to steal tax returns. the bill provides the i.r.s. with additional authority to it allow the agency to work more closely with its partners. finally, the bill also sets forth a new goal for the i.r.s. to have secure online accounts available for taxpayers and their designated preparers by 2023. the i.r.s. has taken far too long to provide even the most basic of online services, and this bill ensures that the i.r.s. will focus on providing moreau bust, june line services for -- more robust online want es for those who them. as we think of a i.r.s. in the future one working for taxpayers, we should want them. think boldly about what a modern i.r.s. looks like. where taxpayers can easily access their information day or night. readily have their questions answered and quickly resolve
issues. one way the i.r.s. can be trusted to adequately protect the taxpayer information, proactively combat identity theft, tax return fraud, and readily assist taxpayers when they are victimsf this fraud. an the i.r.s. meets the taxpayer where they are whether it be online, in permanent or on the phone. it also means having an i.r.s. when held accountable modendization efforts fall short. as we work towards the first major overhaul of the i.r.s. in 20 years, our goal is to ensure these reforms are built upon i.t. systems that are stateoff art -- state-of-the-art, ones that work for the taxpayer not against them. these reforms are necessary and long overdue. i urge my colleagues to support this bipartisan bill and i'd also like to note we received a score from the congressional budget office which i would like to insert for the record.
the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. jenkins: thank you. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. lewis: mr. speaker, i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. lewis: thank you. mr. speaker, i rise in strong . pport of h.r. 5445 this bill is an important first step to bringing the i.r.s. into the 21st century. let me begin by thanking the the gentlewoman from kansas, ms. jenkins, for her hard work on this bill. also like to thank our colleagues, the gentleman from michigan, mr. bishop, and the gentlewoman from washington, ms. delbene, for their good work, their leadership on this bill. i would also like to thank our staff for helping us closely i.r.s. operation. before we put pen to paper, we took our time to learn about the
agency and the taxpayers' experience. in the past year the oversight subcommittee held five hearings, four round table discussions on this bill. the staff also went on site visits to see the issues first hand. in every meeting the subcommittee heard concerns about outdated technology and need for better coordination. and the increasing security threats. --the nse to committee committee developed a bipartisan bill that will --the committee developed a bipartisan bill that will improve the i.r.s. i.t. system. the 21st century i.r.s. act will of the engthen the role i.r.s. chief information officer. willimportantly, h.r. 5445 protect taxpayers' information and fight identity theft and tax
refund fraud. the 21st century i.r.s. act addresses some of the most commonsense taxpayer service in i.t. challenges. it also continued to work of the former i.r.s. commissioner, who took steps to bring government and industry together to address some of these issues. mr. speaker, make no mistake, much more is needed. as we all know, identity theft and tax fraud continue to challenge tax administration. congress cut the agency budget by nearly $1 billion over the past eight years has not helped. we all understand the i.r.s. is in desperate need of more funding, and more staff. these reductions harm both taxpayer service and tax
administration. unfortunately, the chickens are coming home to roost. i know something about chickens coming home to roost. i used to raise chickens. and showing the nation this path is not sustainable. yesterday the i.r.s. experienced a number of i.t. challenges. although the i.r.s. extended the tax filing tedline, this experience showed the nation how important it is that congress invest in the i.r.s. system and operation. mr. speaker, i believe each and every one of us cares deeply about the agency's ability to provide service to taxpayers. the 21st century i.r.s. act is an important first step in this process. i urge all of our colleagues to support this bill. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman yields back the balance of his time. does the gentleman reserve his time or yield back? mr. lewis: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentlelady from kansas is recognized. ms. jenkins: mr. speaker, i minutes to the gentleman from kansas, mr. he it's -- estes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kansas is recognized for three minutes to gentleman from minutes. mr. estes: i rise today in support of h.r. 5445, the 21st century i.r.s. act which would modernize the i.r.s. making it safer and more accessible to taxpayers. it seems appropriate to discuss this bill on what has turned into the second tax day of 2018. after the i.r.s. faced disruptive technical issues during yesterday's filing deadline. these glitches are a clear reminder why we need to modernize the i.r.s. today, many taxpayers use their smart phones to pay bills, conduct business, and order pizza. banks, businesses, and others in the private sector have continued to meet the nand of
our tech savvy citizens and provided them with first class service. in addition to convenience and access, americans deserve to have their identity protected public andcting with private sector, whether that's offline or online. the i.r.s. should be no different. that's why i'm pleased this bill includes language about cyber security, identity theft, and information technology upgadse. out-- upgrades outdated systems from the 1960's are not the best of to protect information millions of americans who interact with the i.r.s. each year. this tax day was the last day taxpayers had to file using an antiquated tax code. i urge my colleagues to support this bipartisan legislation so that taxpayers no longer have to file using antiquated and unsecured technology. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. lewis: mr. speaker, i yield five minutes to the democratic lead co-sponsor, the gentlelady from washington, congresswoman
delbene, a member of the committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from washington is recognized for five minutes. ms. delbene: thank you, mr. speaker. first i'd like to thank our oversight subcommittee leaders, mr. lewis and ms. jenkins, for all their efforts on the important bills that we have been considering this week. a few weeks ago hi the opportunity to visit with constituents of mine who are serving low-income taxpayers in our community to the volunteer income tax assistance program. and i'm so pleased to see that this important partnership will be made permanent by legislation that we passed a yesterday. i'm grateful to my colleague, mr. bishop, for his hard work and working with me on this bill, the 21st century i.r.s. act. it's an important bill that advances needed reforms to nce cyber security and online access for taxpayers, including small business owners. it is long past time for the i.r.s. to enter the digital age
online access for taxpayers, including small business owners. to enter the digital age and give taxpayers a safe, secure, user friendly, online portal to .erve their needs i know firsthand that coordination between private sector technology experts and tax administrationor of the state and federal level can produce real results for taxpayers and a better user experience for all stakeholders. we should strive to harness technology to create a more seamless and dependable experience for american families who are becoming increasingly accustomed to conducting their financial business safely online. something we saw yesterday is an ongoing challenge for the i.r.s. by codifying things like the security summit and the role of the i.r.s. c.i.o., this bill should create some continuity in terms it of prioritizing technology improvements and improving the taxpayer experience. i'm also glad that we're addressing improvements for
small business owners like the development of an online portal for 1099 filings. i know small business owners in my district and across the country are tired of waiting for more user friendly web-based systems, and this is a good first step for them. we should be streamlining the filing process so that they can spend less time and money on tax compliance and more on growing their businesses. while this bill is clearly an incredibly important step forward, i'd like to share the comments of a c.p.a. who weighed in on the discussion draft of the legislation as a reminder that this is not the end of our work. he noted that cutting the i.r.s. budget that is been steadily cutting the effectiveness of the i.r.s. for many years. and he said, quote, we're at a perilous point where honest taxpayers are extremely frustrated. fix it quick or it will become too broken to fix, end quote.
after hearing from i.r.s. administrators, taxpayers, and technology experts over the last --past couple years, i think we may be in or approaching the red zone of becoming too broken to fix. just like a pothole that would cost $1,000 to fix today or $10,000 to fix tomorrow, we need to make some smart investments in i.r.s. technology today become ey insurmountably expensive tomorrow. around 64% of i.r.s. hardware is aged and out of become warranty and 32% of software is two or more versions out of date. systems that the i.r.s. relies on to store taxpayer data are failing and they have serious concerns that they could break down or fail to withstand a cyber attack. these are not issues that we can let fester any longer. let's build on the progress we're making here today to get those systems modernized and get
the job done for american taxpayers. thank you, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentlelady from kansas is recognized. ms. jenkins: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from north carolina, mr. mchenry. the eaker pro tempore: gentleman from north carolina is recognized for three minutes. mr. mchenry: i want to thank the bill sponsor. thank you to lynn jenkins of th gentleman from north carolina is recognized for three kansas, for her leadership in putting this package together. . i firmly believe that god has a sense of humor. and god even has a sense of humor in the collection of our taxes. because of an electronic filing system glitch at the i.r.s., because of a technology failure, the american people got a reprieve for 24 hours on filing their taxes. and miracle of miracles, we did not expect this, but a bipartisan bill comes to the floor to address the technology needs of the i.r.s. god indeed has a sense of humor. or a deep understanding of
public policy. but i think god is in all things so he's certainly in this. now, that glitch at the i.r.s. is just the public acknowledgment of the desperate need this agency has to be modernized. we've modernized the tax code. now we need to modernize the collection of our taxes. the 21st century i.r.s. act is the first comprehensive bipartisan step to address this problem. significant reforms are contained in this bill. now, take, for instance, my provision in the bill, for example. it's a bicameral, bipartisan piece of legislation that congressman blumenauer and i introduced here in the house nd senators booker and crapo introduced in the senate. that section of the bill, section 301, simply says the i.r.s. has to stop using a manual process involving fax
machines to verify income. now, fax machine was a fantastic business product that became a consumer product in the 1980's. it's great technology but it's not modern technology, not the best technology. and so while it may seem laughable that i.r.s. employees are still sitting around using fax machines to process things that in the private sector would be done in an instant, in a second, less than a second to verify using computer technology, the not so funny part is the impact it has had on the hardworking american people that are delayed in getting lending needs or getting their family needs met for financial decisions. mortgages, small business loans, student debt, refinancing, consumer debt, generally, those loans have to get a verified -- a verification from the i.r.s. on how much income they made last year. now, all we're saying is, modernize it, make it the
standard of the private sector and deliver better for the taxpayers. it's bipartisan. i am grateful we have initiatives like that in this broader package that we'll see across the house floor and hopefully see into law. i urge my colleagues to vote yes and i thank the leadership on both sides of the aisle to make this day possible and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. lewis: mr. speaker, i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia reserves. the gentlelady from kansas is recognized. ms. jenkins: mr. speaker, i yield four minutes to the gentlelady from indiana, mrs. walorski. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from indiana is recognized for four minutes. mrs. walorski: thank you, madam chair. mr. speaker, i rise in strong support of the bipartisan i.r.s. reform package, including the 21st century i.r.s. act. there's a trust gap that exists between taxpayers and the i.r.s., and the i.r.s.'s information technology systems are a good example of why. the i.r.s. has an urgent need to overhaul its i.t. systems, some which date back to the
kennedy administration, but repeated mistakes, big and small, undermine our trust in them. take the $12 million they he spent on a new email system they couldn't use. the inspector general report revealed the i.r.s. bought it without first determining project infrastructure needs, integration requirements, business requirements and whether the subscriptions were technologically feasible. or take the return review program, the r.r.p. the new fraud detection program came in years behind schedule and hundreds of millions of dollars over budget. here are just a few of the reasons the i.r.s. cited when it put the r.r.p. into a strategic pause in 2014. they said they paused to determine the priority and direction from i.r.s. senior leadership. to articulate in a line r.r.p.'s role in the broader business vision, to ensure clear and concise understanding of scope, cost, and schedule of contractors. and finally, budgetary constraints.
mr. speaker, unforced errors and turning vital projects into boondoggles, we would be applauding the i.r.s. from buying a system off the shelf. instead, we're so-calleding them for not asking basic questions before buying it. i hear complaints about the i.r.s.'s budget and i think about the r.r.p. senior leadership gave no direction, no one knew how it would fit in the big picture and contractors were out of the loop. people ran in circles until they ran out of money. more money won't fix a broken leadership. codified rules, strategic planning can. that's why i introduced h.r. 5362, the i.r.s. information technology accountability act and i'm thankful it was included in the 21st century i.r.s. act. my bill takes important steps to prevent future boondoggles and instill accountability. number one, codifying the responsibilities of the chief information officer. two, requiring the c.i.o. to
complement a multiyear strategic plan and requiring regular coordination between the c.i.o. and the chief procurement officer. it also singles out two major projects for independent verification and validation. the first is cade 2. it's still years from completion and almost a decade and $1 billion spent. the other, enterprise case management. it's a system that was supposed to use agencywide but was suspended because the i.r.s. bought software that couldn't be used agencywide. these projects need to be on beater trajectory. mr. speaker, i'm proud we're taking important steps to close thirst trust gap. i want to thank chairman brady, chairwoman jenkins, i urge my colleagues to support the 21st century i.r.s. act, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. lewis: mr. speaker, i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentlelady from kansas is recognized. ms. jenkins: mr. speaker, i yield six minutes to the gentleman from michigan, mr. bishop.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan is recognized for six minutes. mr. bishop: thank you, mr. chair. thanu, madam chair woman. -- chawoman. rise to support my bill, h.r. 5445, the 21st century i.r.s. act, a bill that will improve cybersecurity and taxpayer identity protection as well as modernize the information technology system at the i.r.s. i'm grateful today for the bipartisan support. this is a very important issue. one of the most common, heartbreaking issues i've had to deal with on a recurring basis since i was -- i had been elected to government is identity theft. that's why i wrote the michigan identity theft protection act while serving in the michigan senate. i'm disheartened to say, however, since coming to congress those stories of identity theft have only become more frequent and are often compounded by problems in dealing with the i.r.s. many of which center around the delays due to their outdated technology. take, for instance, my
constituent, lance. lance filed his 2015 federal return on march, 2016. in may of that year he was notified his refund was being held under the -- until the i.r.s. could verify certain items. over the next eight months, lance tried multiple times to get additional information from the i.r.s.. finally in january, they told him that his case had been closed. yet, he had not received his refund. over the next six months, his case was reopened and went from being flagged for identity theft, then cleared, only to be flagged again. finally, after 18 months of back and forth with the i.r.s., lance received his refund of tens of thousands of dollars. while we want to be vigilant in protecting taxpayers' identities, these unnecessary delays are bad for everyone. i know i am not alone in this chamber. most of us, if not all of the
members of the body, have heard a distressed story from a constituent about how they had their tax refund stolen. that's why my legislation will codify a current public-private partnership whereby the i.r.s. engages with states and industry to find ways to reduce identity theft tax refund fraud. this will provide them with proactively ols to identify trends in schemes as they come about. by heading off i.d. theft at the beginning of the process, we can eliminate the need for the i.r.s. to chase down fraudulently paid refunds and reduce the burden on the unfortunate taxpayers who had their identities stolen. mr. speaker, another source of delay at the i.r.s. and angst for our constituents comes from the severely outdated i.t. systems at the i.r.s. tax, for instance, another constituent of mine. tom from oakland county.
tom had a return audited and the auditors mistakenly entered his income by misplacing a decimal point by two places and recorded tom's income being 100 times its actual amount. this resulted in the i.r.s. telling tom that he owed a tax bill 18 times his income for that year. after my office and the taxpayer's advocate's office got involved, the i.r.s. fixed the issue but told tom he might still receive collection letters until the computer system was able to update with the correct information. this uncertainty coming from the i.r.s. is simply unacceptable. the outdated technology at the i.r.s. is not the fault of the taxpayer. to address this issues, thees a important provion that my colleague, mrs. walorski, has worked on for a very long time. it provides such needed --
excuse me -- it provides much-needed accountability by setting forth clear guidelines, processes, and the responsibilities for the i.r.s. officials who are responsible for maintaining and modernizing the i.r.s. i.t. it also includes a provision put forward by mr. renacci which would allow the small business file their 1099 through a portal. it would improve the quality and accuracy of the security checks. in conclusion, mr. speaker, we live in a world of constantly emerging threats and sophisticated criminals who are probing and trying to gain access to the i.r.s. and ultimately the taxpayers' information. the 21st century i.r.s. act will help move the i.r.s. in the right direction with meaningful and bipartisan solutions. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. lewis: mr. speaker, i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman reserves. the gentlelady from kansas is recognized. ms. jenkins: mr. speaker, i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from kansas reserves. mr. lewis: mr. speaker, i'm prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. lewis: thank you. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. lewis: mr. speaker, this is a good bill and a necessary bill. again, i thank the chair, the gentleman from michigan, mr. bishop, the gentlewoman from washington, ms. delbene, and all of our colleagues for their hard and good work. we should be very, very proud of the process and the product. i urge all of my colleagues to vote yes on this bill, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlelady from kansas is recognized. ms. jenkins: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentlelady is recognized. ms. jenkins: thank you, mr. speaker. i, too, want to thank once again the ranking member, the gentleman from georgia, mr. lewis -- alabama, mr. lewis, for his hard work on this issue and i appreciate the staff's dedication to getting this to the floor today. this is a thoughtful bipartisan piece of legislation that will help move the i.r.s. forward and refocus the agency on the taxpayer experience. and i urge all members to support this legislation. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. all time for debate has expired. pursuant to house resolution 831 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 amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to improve cybersecurity and taxpayer identity protection and modernize the information technology of the internal revenue service and for other purposes.
the speaker pro tempore: the question is on passage of the bill. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. ms. jenkins: mr. speaker, i request the yeas and nays. 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 0. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until approximately 5:15 p.m. today.