Tax Delinquency Double Standard: Dems Pull Tax Enforcement Bill Rather than Vote on Accountability Provisions for Federal Employees

March 4, 2010

WASHINGTON D.C. – Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee today made clear to the American people that they’re prepared to create real accountability for those who do business with the Federal Government and are delinquent in paying their taxes – unless those delinquents happen to be Federal employees.

Bipartisan legislation, H.R. 572 the “Contracting and Tax Accountability Act of 2009,” was debated and pulled after Democrats rejected a compromise offered by Chairman Edolphus Towns  (D-NY) to an amendment offered by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) that created a process for firing Federal employees who are seriously delinquent in the payment of their taxes.

“There was a bipartisan effort and compromise reached with Chairman Towns to create new consequences for both Federal contractors and Federal employees who are seriously delinquent in paying their taxes to the IRS,” said Ranking Member Darrell Issa.  “I am thoroughly disappointed that Democrats rejected the Chairman’s compromise and stubbornly refused to work with him on an effort to hold Federal employees to the same standard as the private sector. There needs to be consequences for both contractors and federal employees who fail to pay their taxes.”

“Chairman Towns’ compromise proposal on my amendment was a sensible approach, and it’s puzzling that members on the other side didn’t agree,” said Rep. Chaffetz. “The IRS already has a similar policy in place and they have demonstrated that it works. The delinquency rate for the Department of Treasury, which includes the IRS, is less than 1% compared to 3.4% for the rest of the federal government. Federal employees have an obvious obligation to pay their federal income taxes. If they don’t pay their taxes, they should be fired.”

Click here to watch the debate on the Chaffetz and Towns amendments to H.R. 572.

The debate on H.R. 572 begins at the 22 minute mark here.

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