WASHINGTON -- The Senate Finance Committee began the second of four
days of oversight hearings on the Internal Revenue Service on Tuesday.
The following is the opening statement of Senate Finance Committee Chairman
William V. Roth, Jr. (R-DE):
"Let me begin by welcoming everyone back to this second day of hearings
to examine the policies and procedures of the Internal Revenue Service.
Yesterday's proceedings clearly demonstrated how important it is that we
continue our oversight of this powerful agency. These efforts not only
focus our attention on the restructuring legislation that the Senate will
take up next week, but they also continue to define the critical issues
that must be addressed in our effort to reform this agency.
"Our work here is also having a very positive influence on
the Administration's commitment to addressing problems within the agency.
Yesterday's appointment of William Webster to head the IRS's review of
the Criminal Investigation Division is a most welcomed move. It demonstrates
a willingness to address the concerns that are being raised by our efforts
at oversight, and is another manifestation of Commissioner Rossotti's dedication
to change the way the IRS does business.
"One agenda item that I would like to see Mr. Webster add to
his review concerns placing those CID employees who are trained to use
intrusive and oppressive law-enforcement techniques against violent criminals
under the direction of our agencies that are experienced combating such
individuals. These agencies would include the FBI and DEA.
"As we heard yesterday, it is wrong to use these kinds of aggressive
tactics in routine criminal tax investigations of Americans who are neither
dangerous nor violent. At every turn, we must work to promote an agency
that puts service and efficiency before intimidation and vindictive behavior.
That's what these hearings are all about."