Levin Floor Statement on IRS Bonuses Bill, H.R. 4890

Apr 21, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) today delivered the following remarks on the House Floor in opposition to H.R. 4890 – a bill that would prohibit bonuses for Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees until the Treasury Secretary develops a comprehensive customer service strategy approved by the Treasury Inspector General:

(Remarks as delivered)

“The reason the phones aren’t being answered at the IRS is because the Republican Majority has failed to answer to its responsibility.

“The problem is not a lack of strategy, it is a lack of resources. The House Republicans are trying to pass the buck because they are not providing the bucks necessary for adequate taxpayer services.

“To say no bonuses for any of the 80,000 IRS employees because the House Republicans are not doing their job is wrong.

“They are requesting approval of a plan by the agency’s Inspector General that does not carry out this function.

“That is why the White House says in opposition: ‘Legislation constraining the IRS's ability to retain and recruit highly qualified employees is not needed and could be counterproductive to the Service's mission.

“This place under Republican leadership has been bankrupt. There is a long list of things that this Congress has failed to get done – stopping tax inversions, passing a budget, addressing Zika, helping the people of Flint, and the list goes on and on.

“So the Republicans come here and say the IRS isn’t doing its job. You’re not doing your job. Don’t go after an agency for not being able to answer the phone when you’re cutting the lines of resources. It’s outrageous.

“The blame is on your doorstep, don’t try and shift it.”