Chairman Thompson on Passage of the Restructuring Act

Washington, D.C. — Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Fred Thompson today applauded passage of the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring Act and noted that it included his proposal to eliminate the blanket waivers of criminal conflict of interest ethics laws as applied to the employee representative on the newly created IRS oversight board.

“I am pleased to see that Congress has adopted my proposal to eliminate these across-the-board exemptions from the criminal laws prohibiting ethical conflicts of interest,” said Thompson. “However, I still oppose Congress giving the President the authority to waive these criminal laws for the employee board member. I would hope the President would not send to the Senate a nominee for confirmation who would require special exemptions from the criminal ethics laws in order to serve on this board.”

In addressing the agency’s many problems, the Senate also approved giving the IRS significant new personnel tools for the IRS.

“This reform bill grants the IRS critical new personnel rules to help reform the agency. But, in granting the IRS these new personnel authorities, Congress will have high expectations that the reform efforts are indeed carried through,” said Thompson.

“Enacting these far-reaching reforms is just part of the process. Next, we need to do away with the current, complex tax code and replace it with one that’s more customer-friendly for the taxpayer. In approving these reforms, we need to keep in mind our ultimate goal -reducing the tax burden on hard-working American families.”