Issue: Economy and Jobs

Walorski Questions National Taxpayer Advocate on IRS Fraud Detection System

Congresswoman Jackie Walorski

Walorski Questions National Taxpayer Advocate on IRS Fraud Detection System

Taxpayers Face Burdensome Bureaucratic Red Tape When Tax Returns Wrongly Flagged as Fraudulent

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today questioned National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson about the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) outdated fraud detection system as the House Ways and Means Committee examines reforms to ensure the IRS puts taxpayer service first.

In a hearing of the Oversight Subcommittee entitled “IRS Reform: Lessons Learned from the National Taxpayer Advocate,” Walorski described delays in replacing the outdated Electronic Fraud Detection System (EFDS) with the Return Review Program (RRP).

“The EFDS is still the principal fraud detection system because the RRP still isn’t ready for prime time,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “In fact, TIGTA says there is no estimated date for full implementation, and GAO estimates the program has incurred over $86.5 million in cost overruns. When the RRP has run as a pilot, it yielded a high false positive rate, and it missed $313 million in fraudulent filings.”

Asked by Walorski about the real-life impact when tax returns are incorrectly flagged as fraudulent, Olson testified that resolving false positives with the IRS often cost people significant time and money.

“This affects people who are low-income, high-income, it doesn’t matter,” Olson said. “People are having to get their preparers to call, and people often submit documentation multiple times. There is no one person assigned to their case, so every time they call they have to tell their story to a different person.”

The Taxpayer Advocate Service helps taxpayers resolve disputes with the IRS and informs taxpayers of their rights. With the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, Congress created the National Taxpayer Advocate and mandated Local Taxpayer Advocates in each state. Nina Olson has served as National Taxpayer Advocate since 2001.

Video of Walorski questioning Olson at the hearing is available here. The text of her remarks is below.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thanks, Ms. Olson. Again, many thanks from my constituents in Indiana’s 2nd District you have helped. In the five years I have been here, you’ve been able to mitigate and help somewhere over 90 percent of the questions that we’ve had, and I’m very, very grateful to you for what you’ve done.

You’ve probably seen everything in 16 years, so I just wanted to pick up on what you said that you learned from the hearings that you guys had on the issues of ID theft, tax fraud, and scams. That’s what we really get burdened by, folks in our district that have gotten caught in these issues.

On this Return Review Program, the RRP, that started in 2009, this thing has tended to end up like a boondoggle. It’s the successor of the Electronic Fraud Detection System, or EFDS, which in 2010 the IRS said was “too risky to maintain, upgrade, or operate beyond 2015.” But here we are in 2017. The EFDS is still the principal fraud detection system because the RRP still isn’t ready for prime time. In fact, TIGTA says there is no estimated date for full implementation and GAO estimates the program has incurred over $86.5 million in cost overruns. When the RRP has run as a pilot, it yielded a high false positive rate and it missed $313 million in fraudulent filings.

Let’s set aside the numbers and stats and talk about the actual people behind them. You’ve documented well what taxpayers go through in your annual reports, but for the benefit of everyone here, can you walk us through what happens to a single mother, a small business owner, a person who either gets flagged as a false positive or a fraudulent return? Can you just go through how they find out, what hoops they go through, and what this really means to people?

Aside from the time element and the frustration, does it not cost taxpayers, as well, money if they need to seek professional services to be their advocate?

What about commercially available technology that’s there? Is it your opinion that just from a common-sense perspective this would be where we would move to with an unbelievable amount of errors in fraud and money that’s being spent and this whole lack of accountability on this system, would you not agree that that would be some place where we could look and say let’s mitigate this as quickly as we can on behalf of the taxpayers?

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Walorski: Tax Reform Will Boost Job Creation, Help Hoosier Families

Congresswoman Jackie Walorski

Walorski: Tax Reform Will Boost Job Creation, Help Hoosier Families

Ways and Means Committee Holds Major Hearing on Economic Benefits of Pro-Growth Tax Reform

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today in a House Ways and Means Committee hearing examined how pro-growth tax reform would strengthen the Indiana economy, boost job creation, and help Hoosier families keep more of their hard-earned money.

“I am grateful to represent Indiana’s 2nd District, one of the largest manufacturing districts in the country,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “We have a lot of manufacturers and farmers, a lot of moms and dads that are just trying to pay bills and get their kids through school and through college. But I’ve heard from so many CEOs in my district that the American economy has succeeded in spite of our tax code. It hasn’t helped it.”

Walorski pointed to the positive impact a simplified tax code and lower rates would have on northern Indiana businesses like Smoker Craft, a boat manufacturer in New Paris, Ind. She cited Peter Barrett, a senior vice president at Smoker Craft, who said tax reform would allow the company to grow and create jobs.

“He said that tax cuts will allow his company to hire more workers, raise wages for their 600 employees, create new training programs, expand their plant, and make new capital equipment purchases,” Walorski said.

A recent report by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation found the House Republican tax reform Blueprint would lead to the creation of nearly 1.7 million new jobs nationwide – including more than 36,000 in Indiana – and increase take-home pay for middle-income Hoosier households by more than $4,500 per year on average.

House Republicans in 2016 unveiled their Blueprint for simplifying the tax code, lowering rates on individuals and families at every income level, and delivering the lowest rates in modern history for job creators of all sizes. The House Ways and Means Committee now is working with the Trump administration and the Senate toward an agreement on tax reform legislation.

Today’s hearing, entitled “How Tax Reform Will Grow Our Economy and Create Jobs,” was a major step as the committee continues working toward permanent, comprehensive tax reform. Another hearing on tax reform has been announced for Tuesday, May 23. Since 2011, the committee has held more than 40 hearings on tax reform. Witnesses included:

  • John J. Stephens, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, AT&T Inc.
  • Zachary Mottl, Chief Alignment Officer, Atlas Tool Works, Inc.
  • David N. Farr, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Emerson Electric Co.
  • Douglas L. Peterson, President and Chief Executive Officer, S&P Global Inc.
  • Steven Rattner, Chairman, Willett Advisors LLC

Video of Walorski speaking at the hearing is available here. The text of her remarks are below.

I am grateful to represent Indiana’s 2nd District. We’re one of the largest manufacturing districts in the country. I’m very proud of the folks in our district. We have a lot of manufacturers and farmers, a lot of moms and dads that are just trying to pay bills and get their kids through school and through college.

I’ve heard from so many CEOs in my district that the American economy has succeeded in spite of our tax code. It hasn’t helped it. I wanted to be a part of this committee, and I’m grateful to be a part of the committee to actually be looking at this. And I wanted to just run a couple of quotes past you on what folks in my district have said.

Barry Baldwin is a tax preparer. He talks about why it’s important to lower the rates – and we’ve had this discussion for three hours on rates, and my question to you when I get there will be on rates and the issue of permanency and why it’s so important to you that we don’t do something that would damage your interests in tax reform by not making this permanent – but Baldwin the tax preparer says more money in people’s pockets leading to more spending, more spending creates more jobs, more jobs increase the tax base.

Gary Fox, he’s the Managing Partner for a tax services firm in my district called Crowe Horwath in South Bend, he said, “Small and middle market companies are unable to keep capital and invest in their business [with the] current tax rate environment.” He said lower rates will allow for better investment, capitalization, and increased full-time employment.

And then, since we’re a manufacturer, we manufacture nearly all the RVs in the country and worldwide, and we also manufacture boats. So Peter Barrett, a Senior VP at Smoker Craft, said that tax cuts will allow his company to hire more workers, raise wages for their 600 employees, create new training programs, expand their plant, and make new capital equipment purchases. None of those things, he said, happen in a vacuum.

So you’ve heard my district and I’ve heard from you. And you touched on this a little bit earlier, why lower rates are so important, but when we talk about the benefit of lower rates, and you touched a little bit on the issue of permanency, I just think it’s important that as we talk about this we talk about what the distractions can be if this isn’t permanent. And that’s how I’d like to hear your response to the issue of permanency and why it should be a top priority.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Walorski Statement on Trump Administration Notification of Intent to Renegotiate NAFTA

Walorski Statement on Trump Administration Notification of Intent to Renegotiate NAFTA

Administration Seeks to Modernize and Strengthen Trade Agreement for 21st Century Economy

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement after the Trump administration notified Congress of its intent to begin negotiations with Canada and Mexico to update the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA):

“This is an important step toward modernizing and strengthening NAFTA so it better meets the needs of our nation’s manufacturers, farmers, businesses, and workers. The Trump administration is right that strong economic relations with Canada and Mexico have been good for our economy but that an update to NAFTA is long overdue. I look forward to working with the administration to open new markets for American products, create good jobs for American workers, and keep American businesses competitive in the global economy.”

BACKGROUND

Congresswoman Walorski and fellow members of the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday met with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to discuss efforts to open new markets and create opportunities for economic growth.

Lighthizer today notified Congress President Trump intends to renegotiate NAFTA, with negotiations beginning no earlier than August 16, 2017.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Walorski Highlights Local Initiative in Hearing on How Young Adults Can Break the Cycle of Poverty

Congresswoman Jackie Walorski

Walorski Highlights Local Initiative in Hearing on How Young Adults Can Break the Cycle of Poverty

The Excel Center, a Goodwill Program, Offers Hoosier Adults Opportunity to Earn Their High School Diploma

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today at a hearing of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources highlighted The Excel Center in South Bend, a Goodwill of Northern Indiana program bringing better opportunities to Hoosiers.

The hearing, entitled “Opportunities for Youth and Young Adults to Break the Cycle of Poverty,” included testimony from Jameela Roland, a recent graduate of Year Up, a nationwide program similar to The Excel Center. In asking Roland about her experience, Walorski pointed to The Excel Center’s emphasis on adapting to students’ needs to best equip them for a successful career, whether that means job training and certification or college preparation.

“Goodwill of Northern Indiana, they talk about ‘career and college,’ not ‘college and career,’ and I think when we can start breaking that mindset and setting young people free, they don’t have to go with that one mode or one model,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “Initiatives like the Excel Center in my District or Year Up that you’ve been involved in, they’re locally driven, they adapt to individuals, they are what make that bridge out of poverty.”

Video of the hearing, including Walorski’s questions, is available here.

BACKGROUND

The hearing highlighted how innovative solutions, rather than one-size-fits-all approaches, are helping young Americans ages 16 to 24 break the cycle of poverty and move up the economic ladder.

According to data from Opportunity Nation, 17 percent of youth ages 16 to 24 in Indiana’s 2nd District are neither in school nor working – higher than the national average of 13.2 percent. Local organizations like Goodwill of Northern Indiana provide youth and young adults opportunities to enter the workforce and achieve their full potential.

The Excel Center is a free, public school where adults can earn a high school diploma, college credits, industry certifications, and on-the-job training. The program provides individualized services, including life coaches, child care, transportation assistance, and flexible schedules to ensure successful outcomes.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Walorski Joins President Trump for Signing of Order on Aluminum Supply

Walorski Joins President Trump for Signing of Order on Aluminum Supply

Urges Careful, Balanced Investigation of National Security Implications of Aluminum Imports

Congresswoman Jackie Walorski

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today joined President Trump in the Oval Office for the signing of a Presidential Memorandum directing the Commerce Department to investigate the impact of aluminum imports on U.S. national security.

“I applaud President Trump’s leadership to ensure U.S. imports of aluminum do not put our national security at risk,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “A careful and balanced investigation is essential to maintaining military readiness while ensuring Hoosier manufacturers continue to have a reliable supply of aluminum at fair market prices. I look forward to reviewing the Commerce Department’s evaluation and working with the administration to protect jobs and our national security.”

BACKGROUND

The Presidential Memorandum signed today directs the Department of Commerce to use its Section 232 authority to investigate the impact of aluminum imports on U.S national security. The investigation will evaluate whether unfair trade practices harm national security by limiting the availability of U.S.-produced aluminum for military equipment, including aircraft and armored vehicles.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Walorski Statement on Trump Tax Reform Plan

Walorski Statement on Trump Tax Reform Plan

Administration Outlines Principles for Lower Rates and Pro-Growth Tax Code

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement on the Trump administration’s tax reform plan:

“Tax reform is about jobs, economic growth, and prosperity. President Trump’s outline is a key step as we work together toward our common goal of a simpler, fairer tax code built for growth. Fixing our broken tax code and lowering rates will mean individuals and families can keep more of their hard-earned dollars, and businesses of all sizes can be more competitive on the global stage and create more jobs. I am more confident than ever that we will get this done for the American people.”

Congresswoman Walorski earlier today appeared on Fox Business Network’s Countdown to the Closing Bell to discuss tax reform and other issues. Video of the interview is available here.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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In the News: Elkhart Truth: Walorski tours Dynamic Metals, thanks employees for the work they do

Congresswoman Jackie Walorski

Walorski tours Dynamic Metals, thanks employees for the work they do

By Ben Quiggle

U.S. Congresswoman Jackie Walorski told dozens of Dynamic Metals’ employees in Elkhart that she was “grateful” for all they do to protect armed service members around the world during a plant tour on Thursday afternoon.

“At the end of the day, I can’t help but thank-you for what you do for our service members,” she said. “You help build one of the best fighting machines, the Humvee, that is used all around the world.”

… Walorski said she always leaves tours at facilities in Elkhart County, like Dynamic Metals, amazed at the growth many companies are experiencing and at the level of influence companies in this county have across the nation and world.

“Everyone is working hard and the state is doing everything it can to attract more defense dollars,” she said. “For this company to get contracts from a trusted organization like AM General, it just shows that they are doing what is expected and moving forward.”

… Rolling back regulations that Walorski said kill growth is another key aspect to seeing more jobs come to the county.

“We are taking off the handcuffs and uncertainty surrounding over-regulation,” she said.

Read the full story here.

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Walorski Highlights Hoosier Manufacturer in Ways and Means Tax Reform Video

Congresswoman Jackie Walorski

Walorski Highlights Hoosier Manufacturer in Ways and Means Tax Reform Video

#TaxReformTuesday Video Features Global Precision Parts in Wabash

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today featured a Hoosier manufacturer as part of the House Ways and Means Committee’s weekly #TaxReformTuesday video series.

In the video, Congresswoman Walorski highlighted Global Precision Parts, a manufacturer in Wabash, Ind., and spoke about how building a tax code based on growth, simplicity, and fairness can help manufacturers grow and create jobs.

The video can be viewed here. Walorski’s remarks are below.

“Hi, I’m Jackie Walorski. I represent Indiana’s 2nd District, which is in northern Indiana, the heart of American manufacturing. I’m here at Global Precision Parts, a manufacturer of precision machined parts that employs 50 hardworking Hoosiers in Wabash, Indiana.

“Manufacturers like this one know our tax code is broken. They know that high rates, complex rules, and special-interest loopholes are holding our economy back. And they know that the best way to keep American manufacturers competitive in the global economy is through tax reform.

“That’s why I’m working with my colleagues on the House Ways and Means Committee to fix our broken tax code and make it simpler, flatter, and more fair. We need pro-growth reform so companies like Global Precision Parts can invest in growing their business, building more American-made products, and hiring more workers.

“Tax reform is about growing our economy, growing people’s paychecks, and creating jobs. And we are committed to getting it done for the American people.”

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Walorski Votes for Regulatory Overhaul Bills

Walorski Votes for Regulatory Overhaul Bills

House Republicans Continue Reining in Federal Bureaucracy

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today voted for critical regulatory reforms as part of House Republicans’ ongoing efforts to rein in the federal bureaucracy and change the way Washington operates. Walorski also voted to overturn an Obama administration regulation – the 14th regulation the House has voted to overturn this year.

“Burdensome regulations are crushing our small businesses, farmers, and other job creators, and the American people want an end to the status quo in Washington,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “That’s exactly what we’re doing by overturning burdensome regulations and passing reforms that will chip away at outdated and costly regulations and boost transparency and accountability in the rulemaking process.”

BACKGROUND

The House this week passed three regulatory reform bills, the latest in a series of bills and resolutions aimed at providing businesses and families relief from regulatory overreach.

  • Searching for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome (SCRUB) Act (H.R. 998)

The SCRUB Act establishes a bipartisan, independent commission to streamline federal regulations and cut costs. The Retrospective Regulatory Review Commission would be tasked with identifying outdated, ineffective, and overly burdensome regulations that should be repealed. On Wednesday, H.R. 998 passed the House by a vote of 240 to 185.

  • OIRA Insight, Reform, and Accountability Act (H.R. 1009)

This legislation requires the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) to review agencies’ regulations and establishes transparency requirements. On Wednesday, H.R. 1009 passed the House by a vote of 241 to 184.

  • Regulatory Integrity Act (H.R. 1004)

This bill ensures greater transparency in agency communications during the rulemaking process and prohibits agencies from soliciting favorable comments for or against proposed regulations. On Thursday, H.R. 1004 passed the House by a vote of 246 to 176.

The House also voted to overturn a burdensome Obama-era regulation using a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act – the 14th such resolution passed this year. H.J. Res. 83 would overturn a rule in which the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) contradicted congressional intent by unilaterally increasing the time it can target employers for record-keeping violations. On Wednesday, H.J. Res. 83 passed the House by a vote of 231 to 191.

This week’s actions follow the passage of several regulatory reform bills, including H.R. 26, the Regulations in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act. The REINS Act, which passed the House in January, would allow for an up-or-down vote in Congress on major regulations costing more than $100 million in economic impact.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Walorski Statement on President Trump’s Address to Congress

Walorski Statement on President Trump’s Address to Congress

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement on President Trump’s first address to a joint session of Congress:

“In his first address to Congress, President Trump presented a positive vision and a bold agenda for our country. From jump-starting our economy and growing jobs to rebuilding our military and protecting our veterans, Congress and the president are committed to working together for real solutions that make a difference in people’s lives.

“That’s why we’re working together to fix our broken tax code and make it flatter, simpler, and fairer. We’re rolling back burdensome regulations that are crushing small businesses, manufacturers, and farmers. We’re working to provide relief to the millions of families struggling under Obamacare by repealing and replacing it with a better system that lowers costs, increases choices, and protects patients with pre-existing conditions. And we’re making sure our servicemen and women have the resources they need on the battlefield and the care they deserve when they return home.

“The president’s message was one of optimism, unity, and faith in the American spirit – just what this country needs. Congress and President Trump are off to a great start working for the American people, and I couldn’t be more excited about what we are going to accomplish together.”

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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