Alleged IRS Politicking (3/24/97)
Republicans Focus On IRS Reform
GOP to use upcoming IRS hearings to bash the agency
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Sep. 16) -- As the Senate prepares to hold hearings on alleged taxpayer abuse and waste at the IRS, Republicans are taking the opportunity to send out anti-IRS surveys along with fund-raising letters.
Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee, has written a letter to the GOP's faithful and potential donors that says, "With your immediate help today, we can virtually abolish the IRS as you know it!"
Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) have sent out similar fund-raising letters.
The Republicans are trying to get a jump on hearings that the Senate Finance Committee plans later this month. "Our six-month-long look at the IRS shows a troubled agency, with widespread serious problems," said committee chairman William V. Roth (R-Del.) in a statement.
The Senate panel is expected to focus on IRS collection practices, such as property seizures, and whether IRS managers are rewarded for meeting collection quotas.
Roth's office denied that the senator or the panel were trying to bolster Republican fund-raising efforts by conducting a partisan investigation. Democratic staffers on the Senate Finance Committee also agree the IRS hearings have thus far been bipartisan.
While Republicans may be in the spotlight now, they're not the only ones dogging the issue.
Vice President Al Gore announced several proposals to reform the IRS earlier this year and the Clinton Administration introduced legislation last week with some major Democratic sponsors.
Nebraska Democratic Sen. John Kerrey and Ohio GOP Rep. Rob Portman chaired the congressionally appointed National Commission on Restructuring the IRS and are sponsoring a bill to improve management and customer service at the IRS. This legislation aggressively advocates the use of electronic filing of tax returns and the installation of an outside management board.
The House Ways and Means Committee plans two hearings this week on the Kerrey-Portman legislation and the full House is expected to take it up before the end of the year.
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Tuesday Sept. 16, 1997
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