Recent revelations about IRS officials abusing their power and targeting conservatives based on their political beliefs illustrate the immense power federal bureaucrats from hundreds of different agencies have over matters small and large today.
Today, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor delivered the Weekly Republican Address to give a preview of #StopGovtAbuse Week, a new initiative by House Republicans to restrain runaway government and re-empower citizens. Over the next week, the House will move 10 different pieces of legislation designed to protect citizens from government overreach. House Republicans will act to keep the IRS out of your healthcare, fight excessive government regulation, empower citizens during interactions with federal agents, provide accountability to misbehaving government employees, enforce a bill of rights for American taxpayers, and more.
Want to help Stop Government Abuse?
The following 10 bills will be considered on the House Floor next week during #StopGovtAbuse Week. Become a Citizen CoSponsor of any or all of these bills to hold Washington accountable:
Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care — H.R. 2009, authored by Rep. Tom Price, prevents the IRS from implementing any portion of Obamacare.
Citizen Cosponsor H.R. 2009
Keep Federal Bureaucrats from Ruining the Economy and Lowering Wages — H.R. 367, the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, authored by Rep. Todd Young requires Congressional approval of regulations that cost over $100 million.
Citizen Cosponsor H.R. 367
Citizen Empowerment Act — The Citizen Empowerment Act, H.R. 2711 authored by Rep. Lynn Jenkins, creates an affirmative right for individuals to record their meetings and telephone exchanges with federal regulatory officials engaged in enforcement activities and requires that individuals be notified of such right.
Citizen Cosponsor H.R. 2711
Government Employee Accountability Act — H.R. 2579, authored by Rep. Mike Kelly gives agencies the option to place employees on unpaid leave when they are under investigation for certain serious offenses.
Citizen Cosponsor H.R. 2579
Government Customer Service Improvement Act — H.R. 1660 sponsored by Rep. Henry Cuellar requires agencies to adopt customer service standards and to use customer service feedback in agency and personnel reviews.
Citizen Cosponsor H.R. 1660
Government Spending Accountability Act — H.R. 313, sponsored by Rep. Blake Farenthold, increases transparency with respect to taxpayer funded conference, places limits on federal conferences, and requires agency head approval for the most expensive conferences.
Citizen Cosponsor H.R. 313
Common Sense in Compensation Act — H.R. 1541, sponsored by Rep Mark Meadows would not only place limits on the size of bonuses but also limit the number of senior agency employees who may receive bonuses in any given year.
Citizen Cosponsor H.R. 1541
Stop Targeting Our Politics IRS Act — H.R. 2565, sponsored by Rep. Jim Renacci would provide for the termination of employment of IRS employees who take official actions for political purposes.
Citizen Cosponsor H.R. 2565
Stop Playing on Citizen’s Cash Act — H.R. 2533, sponsored by Rep. Peter Roskam imposes a moratorium on IRS conference until the IG’s recommendations are implemented.
Citizen Cosponsor H.R. 2769
The Taxpayer Bill of Rights — H.R. 2768, sponsored by Rep. Peter Roskam would specify the rights that citizens have when dealing with the IRS, including a right to privacy and confidentiality.
Citizen Cosponsor H.R. 2768
An audio version of the address is available on SoundCloud:
The following is a full transcript:
"Tonight, millions of middle class Americans will go to sleep worried - worried about a job, worried about health care, worried about whether they can ever get ahead. While the bills stack up, many middle class families wonder whether there’s ever going to be enough money left over at the end of the month to save for retirement or college tuition.
"All the while, an out-of-touch government in Washington continues to abuse its power and put special interests first while hard working Americans are left to pay the bill.
"Many in Washington have forgotten the most important principle – that the federal government works for you – and not the other way around.
"Each week, House Republicans are working to fix this problem. This week, we will address government abuse that is threatening your hard-earned paycheck, as well as your sacred liberties.
"We will cut government waste by passing legislation that prevents Washington bureaucrats from recklessly spending your tax dollars. We will ensure senior government officials accused of serious offenses and unethical conduct won’t be paid while under investigation; we will put an end to lavish conferences and employee retreats by requiring online disclosures and prior approval by senior officials; and we will stop the excessive granting of hefty bonuses to government employees.
"Squandering other people’s money is one of the easiest ways to lose their trust.
"These measures are a step in the right direction toward restoring trust with you, the taxpayers.
"We also will focus on restoring faith in our economy. Intrusive government regulations continue to hurt job growth and make your paycheck smaller. The REINS Act requires Congress to approve any new regulation proposed by bureaucrats that threatens to impact and add costs to our businesses and working families. Cutting red tape makes sense – it creates jobs and puts more money in your wallet.
"We will also remove the IRS from having anything to do with your health care. A few weeks ago, the White House announced it would delay the employer mandate under Obamacare. The evidence is clear, this law is threatening job growth and turning full-time jobs into part-time jobs. On top of the negative economic and health consequences of Obamacare, the law requires an unholy union between the IRS and your protected health information.
"Recently all of us have been finding out more about the IRS, its activities, and its databases. The doctor’s office is the last place anyone would want to find the IRS. Your health care information is private and should remain so.
"And finally, House Republicans will give you more power to hold Washington accountable. We will move legislation guaranteeing a citizen’s right to record conversations with federal regulators. We will also act to require government agencies to adopt customer service standards. How a government employee interacts with you the taxpayer must be considered when it comes time to evaluate how well they do their job.
"We look forward to passing this agenda, but we need your help.
"Please visit CoSponsor.gov to learn more about these reforms and voice your opinion by becoming a citizen co-sponsor of any or all of these bills.
"You can also go to Twitter and support these measures by tweeting #StopGovtAbuse. This legislation should receive bipartisan support because these are not just reforms we want, these are reforms our nation needs.
"You deserve a government that works for you, not against you. Enacting these reforms is one step towards rebuilding the trust in our government and faith in our economy. Thank you and have a great weekend."
For more information on #StopGovtAbuse Week visit: www.MajorityLeader.gov/StopGovtAbuse.