February 06,2014

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Julia Lawless, Antonia Ferrier (202) 224-4515 

Senators Condemn IRS Decision on Employee Bonuses, Urge Reconsideration

WASHINGTON -- Five members of the Senate Finance Committee today expressed strong disappointment at the IRS’s decision to award $62.5 million of employee bonuses, despite government-wide budget cuts, and asked for reconsideration of the decision and an explanation of current and future bonus plans.

Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member of the Finance Committee; Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa); Pat Roberts (R-Kan.); John Cornyn (R-Texas); and Richard Burr (R-N.C.) wrote to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen to express their concerns.

The senators called the bonuses “an insult to taxpayers,” given the IRS’s “deterioration in performance” due to budget constraints and government-wide guidance to restrict bonuses as much as possible during the mandatory budget cuts known as “sequestration.”

“Sequestration has forced everyone to make difficult decisions when it comes to spending,” the senators wrote to Koskinen. “The American people are looking to the government to make responsible fiscal choices and use their taxpayer dollars in the most effective way. The IRS’s decision to spend $62.5 million on bonuses is a violation of the public’s trust. We strongly urge you to reconsider your decision.”

The Finance Committee has jurisdiction over the IRS. The text of the senators’ letter is available here.