Mike Rogers: It’s time to rein in the Internal Revenue Service

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On the heels of Tax Day 2016, the House of Representatives brought several bills to the Floor this week dealing with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

With such a complicated tax code, most folks across East Alabama dread mid-April.

The IRS hasn’t helped its credibility in recent years by choosing to target citizens based on their political beliefs while wasting money on conventions and bonuses. This week’s legislation represents just a few of the common-sense improvements we can make to the IRS.

H.R. 4903 permanently bars the IRS from using any of its budget to target U.S. citizens for exercising their constitutional rights. It is very revealing about the motives of the Obama Administration that Congress would have to pass such a bill.

The IRS Oversight While Eliminating Spending (OWES) Act, H.R. 4885, eliminates fee driven slush funds in the IRS’ budget and makes them subject to Congressional oversight. This change will stop the IRS from using fees on taxpayers to avoid restrictions on their budget. To deal with rogue employees of the IRS were two bills including H.R. 1206, the No Hires for the Delinquent IRS Act and  H.R. 3724, the Ensuring Integrity in the IRS Workforce Act.

The first piece of legislation prohibits the IRS from hiring new employees until the Treasury Department certifies that no IRS worker has serious tax delinquencies.

The second bill prohibits the IRS from rehiring former employees who had been terminated from the IRS for misconduct. The IRS should hold its workers to the same standards it expects from taxpayers.

Anyone who has had the misfortune of having to contact the IRS knows firsthand that customer service is not their forte.

H.R. 4890, the Ban IRS Bonuses Until Customer Service Strategy is Developed Act, does just what the title says. The bill prohibits bonuses be paid to any IRS employees until the agency develops a comprehensive customer service strategy.

I supported all of these bills because Americans deserve better than the bloated bureaucracy the IRS has become and I will continue to support legislation that forces the agency to do a better job.

• • •

Mike Rogers is a member of U.S. Congress representing Alabama’s 3rd Congressional District.

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