U.S. House passes Rep. Jason Smith's IRS OWES Act to rein in IRS
Washington, DC- Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Congressman Jason Smith’s bill, H. R. 4885, the IRS Oversight While Eliminating Spending (OWES) Act by a bipartisan vote of 245-179. Smith’s bill provides Congress and the American public with greater oversight and transparency with regards to how the IRS is spending valuable taxpayer resources.
During debate on the House Floor, Smith commented, “This bill is about liberating the folks of Missouri along with all Americans from the IRS. It is about making the IRS beholden to them and not the other way around. And it is about exerting our Article 1 authority of the power of the purse of Congress -making sure that unelected bureaucrats are not spending taxpayer money improperly and unwisely.”
The IRS is currently collecting upwards of $500 million in User Fees annually, and has been spending that money without Congressional approval. In 2014 the IRS appropriated $183 million of its User Fees for taxpayer assistance services such as reducing wait times and providing call center assistance, but in 2015 they cut that amount to $49 million as they transitioned to spending funds on implementing Obamacare mandates. That translates to a 73% cut in funding that the IRS chose to put towards funding Obamacare instead of increasing services provided directly to taxpayers and improving the agency’s overall responsiveness.
After passage, Smith remarked, “The passage of my bill today is a win for hard-working taxpayers across America. The IRS has proven time and time again that they are an out of control agency that cannot be trusted to spend taxpayer funds appropriately. The pattern here is alarming, when the IRS has discretion; the agency uses that discretion in ways that harm Americans. It is the duty of the IRS to work for the taxpayers, not against them.”
Passage of Congressman Smith’s IRS OWES Act represents the most recent in a string of bills the Congressman has ushered through the House of Representatives in 2016. Republican leadership has continued to rely on Smith to advance policies which put a stop to an overaggressive White House and its fight against rural America. Smith has successfully passed through the House more major pieces of legislation than any other non-committee chairman in 2016.