Levin Floor Statement on IRS Hiring Certification Bill

Apr 20, 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. 1206 – a bill that would require the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to certify none of its employees has a serious tax debt before the agency can hire any new employee:

(Remarks as prepared)

“What this bill does is to say that the IRS cannot hire a single person until the Secretary of the Treasury issues a written certification that no single employee in the entire agency has a serious tax debt.

“So if an employee were to quit or be terminated, that position could not be filled until an examination was completed of the tax status of every one of the 80,000 IRS employees.

“Realistically, to certify that no single employee has a significant tax debt, the IRS would need to immediately and continuously terminate any employee with a federal tax lien.

“The IRS already has the authority to terminate an employee for delinquent taxes – as was established in 1998 in Section 1203 of the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act.

“In addition, the White House’s Statement of Administration Policy says that the bill is “unworkable in operation, as ‘seriously delinquent’ debts could be as low as $1 and tax liens are recorded on a case-by-case basis.”

“This bill is yet another politically motivated attack on the IRS and its employees, who have one of the lowest rates of tax delinquency in the federal government at around 1%.

“If we’re really worried about tax delinquency, we would need to look no further than here in the House where tax delinquency among employees is more than 5%.

“The Administration opposes this bill as well as the other three on the Floor this week. Their Statement of Administration Policy says that “these bill would impose unnecessary constraints on the IRS’s operations without improving the agency’s ability to administer the tax code and serve taxpayers.”

“Republicans have a lot of work to do, and these bills are nothing more than a distraction.

“I urge my colleagues to oppose this bill.”