THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
June 19, 1998
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
I am very pleased that our efforts to reform the IRS took a major
step forward today with a bipartisan agreement reconciling the House
and Senate legislation. I have worked very hard to give the American
people an IRS that is fairer and more responsive to their needs.
Enactment of this compromise reform will build on our initiative to
give Americans a modern, customer-friendly IRS.
on IRS Reform
Our new IRS Commissioner, Charles Rossotti, has brought forceful
leadership and the best management techniques from the private sector
to the agency. This bipartisan compromise will give him the tools he
needs to succeed, while expanding taxpayer rights. It will allow the
IRS to bring in talent and expertise from the private sector,
strengthen the Taxpayer Advocate's office, and expand the convenient
and popular practice of filing tax returns electronically and over the
phone. We are pleased that Congress incorporated the Commissioner's
sweeping reorganization of the IRS along customer service lines and
addressed our concerns about earlier versions of this reform by
correcting provisions that would have inadvertently allowed
non-compliant taxpayers to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.
The Congress also made sure that the Treasury Secretary and the IRS
Commissioner will serve on the board overseeing the IRS.
Under the leadership of the Vice President and Secretary Rubin, we
have made great strides in our efforts to revamp customer service at
the IRS. We have expanded phone and office hours, created popular new
problem-solving days, and launched independent citizen advocacy
We cannot solve every problem at the IRS at once, but we are committed
to correcting problems when they arise, and this bill will help us do
that. I urge Congress to send me this compromise legislation quickly,
but to make sure that it is fully and properly funded.