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Mullin' It Over Column

Holding the IRS Accountable to Oklahomans

by Congressman Markwayne Mullin

Over the past several years, we’ve seen the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) spend millions of taxpayer dollars without permission, hire people who don’t pay their taxes, rehire people who were once dismissed for misconduct, and give bonuses to employees who aren’t doing their jobs.

This is completely unacceptable, and it almost seems ridiculous that Congress would even have to pass laws to prohibit these things from happening. But as most Oklahomans know, the federal government does a lot of things that just don’t make sense.

I voted for four bills this week that would:

  1. Require the IRS to deposit all user-fees it collects into the general fund of the Treasury, instead of depositing the fees into an agency slush fund that could be spent without Congressional approval (H.R. 4885).
  2. Prohibit the IRS from hiring an employee who has a serious delinquent tax debt (H.R. 1206).
  3. Ensure the IRS can’t rehire any person who was previously removed from the agency for misconduct (H.R. 3724).
  4. Stop the IRS from awarding bonuses to its employees until the Secretary of the Treasury develops and implements a comprehensive customer service strategy (H.R. 4890).

Did you know that the IRS answered only 37 percent of customer calls during the 2014 filing season? In 2013, this number was 71 percent. This drop is unacceptable, and it is why we are requiring the Treasury Secretary to develop a customer service plan.

Just like so many other federal agencies, the IRS has grown out of control. I’m glad the House was able to pass these four important bills this week to hold Washington bureaucrats accountable to Oklahomans. Now, it’s the Senate’s turn to act.

I’m fighting every day to rein in unruly agencies and get the federal government out of your way. If you have ideas about how to shrink the size of our federal government, I’d like to hear from you! You can always call my offices in Washington, DC, at 202-225-2701, Muskogee at 918-687-2533, or McAlester at 918-423-5951; or, send me an email through my website: www.mullin.house.gov.

Thanks for your ideas and continued support.

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