Today, Congressman Peter Roskam (IL-06) was named House Ways and Means Committee Oversight Chair for the 114th Congress. The Oversight Subcommittee is a key watchdog over the spending and operations of programs within the tax-writing and healthcare jurisdiction of the full committee.
"In an era of big government, federal agencies have grown larger, gained more power and have become unaccountable to the taxpayers they are supposed to serve. The long trail of IRS abuses--from targeting individuals for their political or religious beliefs-- to the dozens of agencies involved in Obamacare implementation that's placing bureaucrats in the middle of individual's healthcare choices with little transparency or recourse for Americans requires diligent oversight and action from the people's representatives in Congress.
"I am honored to be named to this key oversight role in the 114th Congress, where my focus will be vigilant, fact-based and fair investigations into the Administration and its sprawling bureaucracy. These last few years have shown us the real dangers of agencies run amok, and frankly it's become all too common for citizens to be in the cross-hairs of their own federal government. But in this moment of both a Republican House and Senate, we have an incredible opportunity to shine a light into the dark corners, and restore the checks and balances that the founders intended.
"Chairman Paul Ryan has a big vision on how to move our country forward and I look forward to working alongside him and my fellow Ways and Means Members to advance bold, conservative solutions and work to uncover and fix what isn't working in government to better serve the American people."
Roskam already has a long track record of defending taxpayers from government overreach in his work as a member of the Ways and Means Committee, passing through the House a series of bills aimed at reigning in an out of control IRS.
-The Stop Playing on Citizens Cash (SPOCC) Act, stopped wasteful IRS spending on conferences in the wake of a series of lavish IRS conferences that featured spoof videos and costly employee gift bags.
-The Taxpayer Transparency and Efficient Audit Act requires the IRS to alert taxpayers when their information is shared with other federal agencies. The bill also puts the onus on the IRS to correspond with taxpayers substantively within 30 days, and complete audits within a one-year of their start date.
-The Protecting Taxpayers from Intrusive IRS Requests Act, cracked down on IRS targeting of individuals, baring the IRS from inquiring about a taxpayer's religious, political or social beliefs.
-Roskam's push for a Taxpayer Bill of Rights was recently adopted by the IRS and now hangs in every agency office throughout the country.
Roskam has also led the effort to increase Obamacare transparency and accountability through the creation of a Special Inspector General for Monitoring the Affordable Care Act (SIGMA). Currently at 103 cosponsors, Roskam's SIGMA legislation would enable a non-partisan, independent watchdog to reach into the myriad agencies responsible for Obamacare implementation and submit quarterly reports and audits on every aspect of the law, from the impact on out-of-pocket costs, to shrinking provider networks, contracting, and Healthcare.gov's data security in a way that no single oversight official currently can.