Scott Introduces EPIC Act to End Partisan Culture at IRS
Video of Senator Scott discussing the EPIC ActHERE
WASHINGTON– Following the Senate Finance Committee’s investigation into the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) treatment of conservative organizations, U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) todayintroduced theEnd the Partisan IRS Culture (EPIC) Act to decrease political decision making at the IRS byexempting the agency from labor organization and collective bargaining requirements. Senator Scott announced his newlegislationfollowing last week’s hearing with IRS Commissioner John Koskinen on how the agency is responding to and implementing the Committee’s August 2015 bipartisan investigativereport.
“The American people should be able to trust that the Internal Revenue Service is running asefficiently as possible, and not being used by any president as a blunt force tool to enact revenge on political enemies,” Scott said. “Unionization has led to hundreds of employeesworking solely on union issues instead of serving the American people, with 95 percent of the politicaldonations from these union dues going to Democrats.”
Scott continued, “My legislation will help end the partisan culture at the IRS by exempting the agency from labor organization and collective bargaining requirements. We should put the 200-plus employees currently doing union work back to serving the American taxpayers, not their union bosses and the politicians they support. They should be processing refunds and answering taxpayers’ phone calls rather than letting almost 9 million Americans be hung up on with a ‘courtesy disconnect.'”
The EPIC Act would amend the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute to designate the IRS as an agency that is exempt from labor organization and collective bargaining requirements. In 2011, at a cost of $27 million to hard-working taxpayers, IRS employees spent more than 600,000 hours of official time on union duties; more than 200 IRS employees worked full time on union issues. Additionally, almost 50,000 IRS employees pay union dues and more than 95% of the union’s political contributions have gone to Democratic candidates in recent elections.In recent years, hyper-politicization at the agency led to conservative organizations being singled out based on the existence of key words in their names, or any other indication that they held conservativebeliefs.
Currently, several agencies are already excluded from the statute’s Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute, including the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Federal Labor Relations Authority, the Federal Impasses Panel, and the U.S. Secret Service. Presidents are able to exclude additional agencies or subdivision from coverage. President have excluded additional agencies, including the Federal Air Marshall Service and several subdivisions of each branch of the military. Senator Scott’s bill would add the IRS to the list.