Private tax collectors. The House passed, 232-173, and sent to the Senate a bill that would repeal the Internal Revenue Service's authority to hire private firms to collect overdue income taxes.From what I can gather, it looks like this bill, by taking private debt collection firms out of the picture, tightens up reporting by offshore entities, particularly for high net worth people.
A yes vote was to pass HR 3056.
Voting yes: Robert E. Andrews (D., N.J.), Robert A. Brady (D., Pa.), Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.), Jim Gerlach (R., Pa.), Tim Holden (D., Pa.), Frank A. LoBiondo (R., N.J.), Patrick Murphy (D., Pa.), H. James Saxton (R., N.J.), Allyson Schwartz (D., Pa.), Joe Sestak (D., Pa.) and Christopher H. Smith (R., N.J.).
Voting no: Michael N. Castle (R., Del.), Charles W. Dent (R., Pa.) and Joseph R. Pitts (R., Pa.).
And as noted here, “since such authority (to use private firms) was granted to the IRS in 2004, the federal government has spent $71 million to collect $20 million in tax receipts. The National Taxpayer Advocate estimates the federal government could have collected $1.4 billion had the money been spent hiring IRS employees.”
“Fiscal management,” Repug style once more (and somewhere, my dad smiles)…
Estate tax repeal. The House rejected, 212-196, an amendment to HR 3056 (above) that would have repealed the estate tax on Jan. 1, 2011. Under current law, the tax is being reduced between 2001 and 2009 and repealed in 2010, and then will return in 2011 at pre-2001 levels.God knows I’m not happy with the Dems in Congress generally at the moment, but that goes mostly for the Senate (and a certain majority leader). But with a Repug House majority, I can assure you that this would have passed, ensuring more deficit misery and fiscal mismanagement for years.
A yes vote was to repeal the estate tax in 2011.
Voting yes: Castle, Dent, Gerlach, LoBiondo, Pitts, Saxton and Smith.
Voting no: Andrews, Brady, Fattah, Holden, Murphy, Schwartz and Sestak.
Housing. The House passed, 264-148, and sent to the Senate a bill that would establish a National Affordable Housing Trust Fund to help local and state agencies build or restore 1.5 million units over 10 years for families in need.Add poor families in need of housing to the loooong list of those ignored by Joe Pitts.
A yes vote was to pass HR 2895.
Voting yes: Andrews, Brady, Castle, Dent, Fattah, Gerlach, Holden, LoBiondo, Murphy, Saxton, Schwartz, Sestak and Smith.
Voting no: Pitts.
And speaking of Pancake Joe, I have to point out that, in this Inquirer story yesterday, reporter Maria Panaritis referred to Pitts as a “moderate.”
Now I guess I should be kind here because Panaritis is based in Trenton, NJ and wouldn’t have the same familiarity with Pitts and his true odiousness as many of us do. Still, someone at the Inky should have clued here in (and to start, she can read this, this, and this).
This week, the House debated domestic surveillance and conduct a vote on President Bush's veto of a children's health-insurance bill (and we know how that turned out, unfortunately). The Senate resumed work on the 2008 Department of Justice budget.