Democratic Lawmakers Stand Up for IRS Workers

Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., says most IRS workers are good people and have tough jobs. Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., says most IRS workers are good people and have tough jobs. Charles Dharapak/AP

Several Democratic lawmakers expressed sympathy for Internal Revenue Service employees Friday who must now carry the “stigma of corruption” in light of the agency’s recent scandal.

While lawmakers from both sides of the aisle spent most of the time at the Ways and Means Committee hearing probing and criticizing IRS officials, some Democrats took part of their time to praise the agency and its workforce.

Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., acknowledged some IRS workers “screwed up,” but said overall the agency’s employees are good people with tough jobs.

“The IRS is an easy target, and everyone wants to hold a pitchfork when the tax man comes,” McDermott said at the hearing held to investigate IRS’ targeting of conservative organizations for extra scrutiny. “Let’s not forget the IRS has one of the hardest jobs, and there are thousands and thousands of good, solid, hardworking Americans who work every day to run this system.”

Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., expressed concern for the impact this scandal will have on the IRS workforce.

He said Democrats and Republicans are “on the same side in trying to determine how did this happen, who was responsible for it, how far did this cancer go, how quickly can we cut it out, so that tens of thousands of IRS employees have this stigma of corruption taken away from them. So that you, Mr. Miller, as a career employee don’t have to explain to your kids and friends that you were not involved in a scandal.”

He added that clearing the names of the IRS employees “who work hard each and every day” will help the entire government.

“It’s not too late for the government -- it’s too late for the Congress -- but it’s not too late for the government to try to get its reputation cleaned up for America,” Rangel said.

While most representatives continued to bash the agency, Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., echoed Rangel’s sentiment that the IRS must work to restore the faith of the American people in the tax collector’s workforce.

“As much as we know the folks at IRS have a thankless job because they have to go and tell their fellow Americans that they may be audited,” Becerra said, “or they may have to do this work understaffed, we have to maintain confidence in the system.”

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.