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Chairman Brady Opening Statement at Markup on Bills to Protect Children and Taxpayer Identity

April 28, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) today delivered the following opening statement at a full committee markup of three bills to protect children and taxpayer identity.

Remarks as prepared for delivery:

“Good morning, and thank you for joining us.

“Over the last month, millions of Americans were forced to comply with our broken tax code and send a significant portion of their paychecks to the Internal Revenue Service. 

“Meanwhile, House Republicans have been advancing commonsense proposals to make the IRS more accountable.

“Last week, we passed six pieces of legislation to improve customer service, prevent fraud, and ensure taxpayer dollars are being spent appropriately. These efforts will help ensure the IRS is more efficient, more accountable, and more professional.

“We also held a hearing to examine the rampant tax-related identity theft and cybersecurity attacks that continue to hurt taxpayers and cost Americans billions of dollars.

“Witnesses and members – including our colleague Jim Renacci, who personally experienced identity theft during Tax Season – strongly agreed that we have to take action to better serve taxpayers and prevent fraud.

“We’re here today to advance more commonsense solutions that make sure the IRS is serving all Americans – not working against them.

“The first bill we will consider – H.R. 3209, sponsored by our colleague Erik Paulsen – will help local law enforcement agencies find missing or exploited children. This legislation enjoys bipartisan support and will empower the IRS to share taxpayer information with state and local officials. The bill also includes strong safeguards so that sensitive taxpayer information is protected.

“Our second bill – H.R. 5053, sponsored by Peter Roskam, the Chairman of the Oversight Subcommittee – prohibits the IRS from collecting the identity of donors who contribute to tax-exempt organizations. As we have seen over the last several years, the IRS has exploited sensitive taxpayer information to penalize tax-exempt organizations that do not align with certain political beliefs. By eliminating invasive reporting requirements in current law, this legislation will protect taxpayers’ identities and prevent the IRS from improperly targeting particular organizations.

“Our final bill – H.R. 3832, sponsored by Jim Renacci – lays out actions the IRS must take to combat the growing problem of identity theft. 

“It will also help victims quickly and securely resolve cases where their identity has been stolen.

“As Mr. Renacci knows from personal experience, no one is protected from tax-related identity theft – not even members of Congress. This legislation will help prevent fraud, increase transparency, and improve customer service to protect Americans from tax-related identity theft.

“Simply put, these proposals put the best interests of children and taxpayers first. I want to thank my colleagues for bringing such commonsense ideas to the Committee.”