Finance

House to vote on six IRS bills next week

The House plans to vote on six bills related to the Internal Revenue Service next week.

With the tax-filing deadline on Monday, "Congress is zeroing in on the IRS," the authors of the bills said in a Townhall op-ed.

"Fairness is our guide and accountability is the goal as we try to make the IRS beholden to the American people, saving everyone time and money in the process," Republican Reps. Jason Smith (Mo.), Rick Allen (Ga.), Kristi Noem (S.D.), David Rouzer (N.C.) and Glenn Grothman (Wis.) said.

Four of the bills were approved by the Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday.

One would prevent the IRS from hiring new employees unless the Treasury secretary either certifies that there are no current IRS employees with serious tax deliquencies or submits a report explaining why it cannot make that certification.

During the Ways and Means markup, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) offered an amendment to this bill that would prevent Congress from also hiring new employees until there is a certification, but it was ruled to be non-germane. Blumenauer's office said he would offer the amendment again to the House Rules Committee and also intends to introduce separate legislation on the topic.

The second bill would prohibit the IRS from re-hiring people who had previously been fired for misconduct. The third would ban IRS employees from receiving bonuses until the agency implements a plan to improve customer service levels. And the fourth would prevent the IRS from spending user fees it collects without the approval of Congress.

The House will also consider two other IRS bills, which the op-ed authors said should have "wide bipartisan support." These bills would prevent IRS funding from being used to target people exercising their First Amendment rights and would provide printed copies of the official tax instructions book when requested, the lawmakers said.

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