Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after introducing H.R. 4083, the Preventing Unionization of Revenue Service Employees (PURSE) Act, legislation which prohibits federal government tax collectors and other IRS bureaucrats from unionizing and entering into collective bargaining agreements at taxpayer expense:
“The IRS has proven to be one of the most destructive and criminal agencies within the most lawless administration in the history of this great country. Under the failed leadership of John Koskinen and Lois Lerner, the IRS has devolved into a patently partisan organization that has targeted conservative groups simply for their political beliefs. With the targeting scandal and initiation of impeachment proceedings against IRS Director John Koskinen by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, it is now more important than ever to ensure that IRS employees remain unbiased while performing official duties.
“The PURSE Act, championed in the Senate by my friend and Republican rockstar Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), would add the IRS to the list of federal agencies that are prohibited from unionizing and entering into collective bargain agreements. This bill is necessary to check the partisanship and abuse that has festered within an agency that is supposed to be nonpolitical. IRS employees should be focused on serving taxpayers, not carrying out the mission of labor unions while they are on the clock. Rather than serving the interests of the American people, this inefficient agency allowed bureaucrats to squander more than half a million employee hours last year on union activities alone. We must not forget that current IRS employees targeted innocent Americans because of their political ideologies. I will continue to seek to restore accountability to a partisan agency that has lost its way.”
The full text of the PURSE Act can be found HERE.
The PURSE Act exempts Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees from the Federal Labor-Management Relations Statute (5 U.S.C. Chapter 71). H.R. 4083 is the House companion to S.2245 introduced by Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO).
Under current law, several federal government agencies are already prohibited from unionizing and entering into collective bargain agreements including the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National Security Agency (NSA). Given the everyday functions of the IRS, there is no good reason why the agency shouldn’t also be on this list.
In 2013, over 200 IRS employees spent more than 520,000 hours of official time on union activities. American taxpayers had to foot the bill for these employees’ salaries and benefits to the tune of over $23 million. To make matters worse, the IRS has over 70,000 union-covered employees, and more than 95% of the union’s political contributions have gone to Democratic candidates in recent elections.
Following introduction of the PURSE Act, Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning stated, “[This bill] goes to the heart of the Hatch Act civil service protections that ensure the bureaucracy is not subject to undue political influence. The rise of public employee unions as major contributors to the left has long been a threat to the political neutrality of the civil service system. The IRS' unprecedented targeting of conservative organizations and donors makes it all the more important that [this] brilliant legislation become law.”
Current endorsements for the PURSE Act include: Americans for Tax Reform, Americans for Limited Government, Citizens Against Government Waste, FreedomWorks, Gila County (AZ) Cattle Growers Association, Mason Contractors Association of America, New Mexico Cattle Growers' Association, New Mexico Federal Lands Council, New Mexico Wool Growers, Inc., Arizona Mining Association, Taxpayers Protection Alliance, Veritas Research Consulting, Yuma County (AZ) Chamber of Commerce, Arizona Liberty, Concerned Citizens for America, Associated General Contractors of America, and the Town of Fredonia, AZ, and taxpayer Jim Salscheider.
21 Original Cosponsors joined Rep. Gosar in introducing the PURSE Act including: Representatives Brian Babin, Dave Brat, Ken Buck, Rick Crawford, John Culberson, Trent Franks, Louie Gohmert, Gregg Harper, Tim Huelskamp, Steve King, Cynthia Lummis, Jeff Miller, Pete Olson, Bill Posey, Tom Rice, Mike Rogers, Todd Rokita, David Rouzer, Chris Stewart, Scott Tipton, and Joe Wilson.