Reining in the IRS

As a member of the House Financial Services Committee, I hear from individuals, non-profits, and business owners across the nation.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scandal from last year struck fear in the hearts of all Americans, and angered those who feel they were unfairly targeted as well. It was also frustrating to hear that the employees responsible were awarded with bonuses and that incriminating emails were mysteriously “lost,” breaking the law and the trust of the American people.

The House has passed its seventh appropriations package, most recently being the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act of 2015. This package streamlines the federal government, helps put our fiscal house back in order, and specifically addresses flaws in the IRS.

This Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act complements the hard work done by the House Ways and Means and Oversight and Government Reform committees to keep the IRS in check, especially when it comes to how your tax dollars are spent. The bill cuts total funding for the IRS by $341 million below FY14 levels and 12% below President Obama’s funding request. It also prohibits the funding of the IRS to target individuals based on their political beliefs and employee bonuses or awards unless there is consideration of the employee’s performance.

The bill goes further to prevent the IRS from over reaching.

Specifically, it limits the power the IRS has in implementing ObamaCare by prohibiting transfers from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to the IRS. It also prohibits funding to implement the individual insurance mandate, which is responsible for fining individuals who don’t comply with ObamaCare.

The IRS has had too much power for far too long. This package holds the IRS accountable to fulfilling its duties, and restricts it from unfairly infringing on your finances without just cause. While abolishing the IRS and implementing a fair tax is the end goal, this package is another step toward reining in waste and abuse and holding your government accountable.

(U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga., represents the state’s Third Congressional District, which includes Coweta County.)



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