(Remarks as Prepared)
I come to the floor today in support of H.R. 2009, legislation that will prevent the IRS from getting involved in Americans’ health care. The IRS is already out of control, abusing its power to tax and audit the activities of honest, hardworking Americans. The IRS has betrayed the trust of the American people. Yet, ObamaCare granted the IRS 47 new powers – including giving confidential taxpayer information to other departments and applying new taxes and penalties.
Well, before the IRS starts getting involved in your health care, and sharing your information, and forcing people to pay even more taxes, let’s first look at the job the IRS is already doing.
Back in 2011, I investigated claims that the IRS was threatening donors to conservative causes with higher taxes. It turned out to be true, the IRS was abusing its authority and it was harassing conservatives.
But that was just the tip of the iceberg. We soon learned of more accusations about how the IRS was targeting Americans for their political beliefs. What we have found so far – and we just have three percent of the documents from the IRS we requested – is that the IRS did leak confidential taxpayer information, they did delay applications of groups supporting conservative causes and they did threaten conservatives with higher taxes.
And, Democrats want to give this agency more power and authority? They want this agency involved in Americans’ health care? No way.
Even the agency’s own watchdog says the IRS cannot handle the job. Less than two weeks ago, the independent Treasury Inspector General stated they are not confident about the IRS’s ability to protect confidential taxpayer information or to prevent fraud. Well, neither am I – and by every indication, neither are the American people.
It has been three years since the health care law was passed, and in less than two months the Administration claims it will be fully ready to implement the law. But in the face of all these failures, all these breaches of the public trust, more Americans than ever want this law to be repealed. Why? It’s simple: ObamaCare has brought increased health care costs to families and individuals, has stifled businesses from expanding and has forced American job creators to cut jobs, hours and wages.
Just yesterday, at a hearing in the Ways and Means Committee, a key official from Health and Human Services could not confirm that the health care law would lower the health care costs for hardworking families in my home state of Michigan. But, wasn’t this the signature promise of the Administration – that premiums would be $2,500 lower? And now, the Administration cannot make good on that promise. With so little time before exchanges are set to open and families to plan their health care spending for the next year, it is extremely concerning that the Administration cannot tell the American people what their health insurance will look like, or how much it will cost.
Simply put, this law is a failure and ought to be repealed. But, it didn’t have to be this way. The House GOP alternative to the Democrats’ health care law, which I authored, was the only legislation scored by the Congressional Budget Office as meeting the top health care priority of American families because it was the only bill that actually lowered the cost of health insurance premiums. And, it didn’t give the IRS a single new power. It kept the IRS out of your health care, which is exactly what this bill will do – keep the IRS off your health care.
We should be cutting the IRS, not expanding it. We should reduce its power and authority and its ability to harass and abuse Americans. That is exactly what this bill does and I urge my colleagues to join me in voting yes on this legislation.