(Extensions of Remarks - April 17, 2013)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E478]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                               speech of

                          HON. BETTY McCOLLUM

                              of minnesota

                    in the house of representatives

                         Monday, April 15, 2013

  Ms. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition H.R. 249, the Federal 
Employee Tax Accountability Act.
  Failure to pay taxes is a serious offense and should be treated as 
such. Unfortunately, this bill is not a serious attempt to address that 
very complicated issue. Instead of being a good faith effort, this bill 
is being used as a political stunt and appears to be an attack on 
public employees.
  During Oversight and Government Reform Committee markup on this bill, 
a series of questions were raised about the Internal Revenue Service 
procedures related to tax delinquency. These questions include what 
steps may be taken to resolve a delinquency, when enforced collection 
action may be used, how repayment schedules are established, among 
others. Addressing these types of questions and concerns is what the 
Committee process is for. Chairman Issa and Ranking Member Cummings 
wrote a letter to Steven Miller, Acting Commissioner at the IRS, to 
better understand these processes. The majority pledged to consider 
these responses and to amend this measure accordingly. Instead of 
waiting even two weeks for a reply, H.R. 9 was brought to the floor 
without amendment. The Chairman refused to wait for the answer to his 
own letter.
  I am also concerned that this bill does not make sufficient 
allowances for the dispute process to do its work. Americans have the 
right to appeal IRS collection actions. While exemptions are provided 
when a hearing has been scheduled under Collection Due Process, appeals 
to that ruling or under the Collection Appeals Program are not. 
Punishing anyone while they are still in the process of pursuing the 
normal IRS dispute process is wrong.
  Americans around the country are paying their taxes today. None of 
them should be fired while pursuing their legal rights to appeal or 
dispute IRS action. I urge my colleagues to join me in opposing H.R.