Rep. Gosar Leads Effort to Prevent Bonuses for Senior IRS Employees

For Immediate Release

Date: March 18, 2016

Contact: Steven D. Smith

Steven.Smith@mail.house.gov

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after submitting a language request to the House Appropriations Committee aimed at prohibiting senior executives within the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) from receiving bonuses:

“It is unconscionable that Lois Lerner and other dishonest senior officials within the IRS have received more than $100,000 in bonuses in recent years. Committing perjury, purposely disposing of hard drives and more than 24,000 emails in order to stymie an investigation, and providing an extremely poor level of service to taxpayers doesn’t warrant a bonus of a penny in my mind, let alone nearly $6 million dollars in the last 5 years.

“At a time of soaring deficits, and with a federal debt in excess of $19 trillion, allowing lavish bonuses to continue to go to senior management within the IRS is especially wasteful. Most hard-working, law-abiding Americans haven’t received bonuses during these tough economic times. Neither should corrupt government bureaucrats that illegally targeted conservative organizations.”

Background:

The full text of the language request can be found HERE.

This language is identical to language that passed the House with strong bipartisan support in fiscal year 2015 in the form of H.AMDT.1079 to H.R. 5016. At that time, 57 Democrats joined every single Republican in seeking to prevent senior bureaucrats within the IRS from collecting lavish bonuses. Furthermore, the House has passed nearly identical language three different times to prevent the Department of Veterans Affairs from giving out bonuses to senior executives.

In July 2013, Danny Werfel, Acting Commissioner of the IRS, sought to eliminate bonuses for union employees and senior executives within the agency sending an email to employees, which stated, “I do not believe there should be performance awards this year for IRS employees, managers or executives.” Current IRS Commissioner Koskinen took control of the agency in December 2013 and chose to ignore Werfel’s attempts to restore trust within the agency. In February 2014, Koskinen announced his decision to pay out bonuses to IRS employees to improve “employee morale,” and on Koskinen’s watch, the IRS has doled out more than 450 bonuses totaling nearly $2 million. To make matters worse, in the five-year period beginning January 1, 2010 and ending February 2, 2015, the IRS handed out 1,269 bonuses and incentives totaling $5.97 million. Lois Lerner alone received $129,000 in bonuses. 

In July of 2014, the House of Representatives sent a strong message to the IRS and the Administration by passing an appropriations bill which cut funding to the IRS by over $1 billion and to its lowest level since 2003.  Included with passage of this bill were four Gosar amendments which cut more than $400 million in wasteful spending from the IRS. CLICK HERE to read more.

The language request was submitted by 7 other members of the House including: Dan Benishek, John Fleming, Tim Huelskamp, Leonard Lance, Jeff Miller, Pete Olson and Todd Rokita.

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