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Cummings Issues Statement on House Floor Supporting Passage of Bill on Tax Accountability for Contractors

Apr 15, 2015
Press Release

Cummings Issues Statement on House Floor Supporting Passage of Bill on Tax Accountability for Contractors

 

Washington, D.C. (Apr. 15, 2015)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, spoke on the House floor in strong support of H.R. 1562, the Contracting and Tax Accountability Act, which will allow the federal government to make sure that contractors seeking to do business with the federal government have paid their taxes before they can receive a federal contract and ensure that responsible contractors no longer have to compete with tax delinquents.

Below are Ranking Member Cummings’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, on the House floor today, and the video of his speech:

 

Floor Statement of Ranking Member Elijah E. Cummings

H.R. 1562, the Contracting and Tax Accountability Act

April 15, 2015

 

 

            Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I rise in strong support of H.R. 1562, the Contracting and Tax Accountability Act. 

This bill is nearly identical to a bill introduced in the last two Congresses by Chairman Chaffetz and is very similar to legislation reported by the Oversight Committee and passed by the House in the 110th Congress.

I have supported this legislation each time it has been introduced, and I continue to support it now.

The Government Accountability Office has reported that government contractors owed more than $5 billion in unpaid federal taxes in 2004 and 2005. 

Unpaid taxes owed by contractors include payroll taxes – amounts required to be withheld from employee wages – as well as corporate income taxes. 

GAO has also found that some contractors with unpaid tax debts are repeat offenders that have failed to pay their taxes over many years, including in one case for almost 20 years.

This legislation will allow the federal government to make sure that contractors seeking to do business with the federal government have paid their taxes before they can receive a federal contract. 

The Federal Acquisition Regulation was revised in 2008 to require contractors to certify that they do not owe a delinquent tax debt to the federal government.

This bill builds on that requirement by providing federal agencies the means to verify contractors’ claims.

            This legislation will also ensure that responsible contractors no longer have to compete with tax delinquents.

            I urge members to support this legislation

I reserve the balance of my time.

114th Congress