By Jackie Kucinich - 07/13/06 12:00 AM EDT
As some Republicans on Capitol Hill seek to abolish the IRS, the Government Printing Office (GPO) has offered the agency a helping hand.
After hearing that the IRS building incurred extensive damage from the torrential rains that swept through the Washington region two weeks ago, the GPO customer-service branch offered its assistance.
"The GPO and the IRS have a long history together," said Jim Bradley, managing director of customer service. "When we learned about what happened to their building, I called up and offered our help."
With some of the space inside the GPO offices at 732 N. Capitol St. N.W. newly vacant, the agency offered enough room for 35 members of the IRS Media and Publications Division staff.
"At this moment no one has moved in, but the offer is there," Bradley said.
The 2,400 IRS employees who work in the headquarters are being relocated to 12 other buildings the IRS occupies in the D.C. metro area, according to an agency release.
The GPO also offered to store documents, should the IRS need to move them out of its damaged building.
The GPO will not charge for the IRS for the loaned space.
"The IRS and the GPO have benefited from their long-standing business arrangement, and now that there has been a flood at the IRS headquarters GPO has lent IRS a helping hand by providing some much-needed logistical support," said John Dalrymple, IRS deputy commissioner for operational support.
Conservative Republicans, including House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), want to abolish the IRS and set up a radically different tax code, but the legislative effort has languished.
During the recent storms, the subbasement of the IRS building along Constitution Avenue flooded, causing windows to collapse, according to the GPO release. Approximately 20 feet of water submerged parts of the electrical system and the heating and air conditioning systems according to an IRS release.
The IRS has indicated the building will not reopen until January.
"Like the IRS, the GPO has to maintain a service to the American people," Public Printer Bruce James said.