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Public Statements

Tax Day, April 15th

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Tax Day, April 15th

Ms. SPEIER. Madam Speaker, I have long known that the war in Iraq was costing our Nation far too much. But after less than a week here in Washington, I'm sad to say, it is even worse than I thought. Today, on the day millions of Americans pay their Federal income taxes, it is disheartening to point out that the average American's total tax bill pays for less than one half of one second of this unnecessary war.

At a time when hard-working, two-income families struggle to pay their mortgages, when gas prices force small businesses to raise prices on basic services and necessities, when support for college students continues to decline and CEO salaries rise faster than a carnival balloon, it is time to bring a dose of sanity to our tax laws.

Madam Speaker, today we took an important step by passing legislation to deny government contracts to firms that are delinquent in tax payments. No longer shall we allow corporations to reap war profits while defrauding taxpayers by not paying their fair share.

We also took aim at the ridiculous practice of hiring outside collection agencies to harass American taxpayers at a cost higher than the money they take in. If America truly is the land of opportunity, then that opportunity must extend to all members of the American family. We cannot be nickel-and-diming hardworking families while losing tens of billions of dollars in waste, fraud and abuse in questionable contracts awarded to politically-connected firms doing business in Iraq.

Madam Speaker, I am new to this body, but I am not new to politics. I understand that the only way anything gets done in the halls of power is when someone stands up and insists on action. Today, on Tax Day, let us make a promise to work toward ending this devastating and costly war, providing middle-income tax relief and once and for all doing away with subsidies for oil companies. Only then, can Americans start to feel that Tax Day is something more than a shake-down of hard-working families.

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