Pelosi Remarks at Bill Enrollment Ceremony for The Taxpayer First Act

June 21, 2019
Press Release

Washington D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined House Democrats and Republicans for a bill enrollment ceremony for H.R. 3151 the Taxpayer First Act.  Below are the Speaker’s remarks:

Speaker Pelosi.  Good morning, everyone.  I’m very happy this morning to come together in a bipartisan way – a shining example of working together, having hearings, making decisions on behalf of the American people.

I salute John Lewis for this important legislation: the Taxpayers First Act. I thank you, Mr. Lewis, for your co-sponsorship of and leadership on it.

And, Mr. Kelly, yours – for your co-sponsoring it – the two of you, as Chair and Subcommittee – Subcommittee of jurisdiction.

Of course, we are honored to have the Chair of the Ways and Means Committee, Mr. Richie Neal, and Mr. Brady, the former Chair and now the Ranking Member on the Ways and Means Committee.

They all worked to bring this legislation to the Floor and to fruition here.

We have an enrollment ceremony on this legislation that helps lower income – people will be able to get assistance in putting together their tax returns.  It also protects them from being – from debt collectors and the rest and also has important legislation, steps to identify identity theft and some modernization initiatives for the Internal Revenue Service, so underserved communities, people with disabilities, are very well-served by this legislation.

So it my honor now to sign this enrollment ceremony in the presence of the people who made it possible in a bipartisan way, and may it be a guide for the many more things we can do working in bipartisan way.

I’m going to sit down to do this, okay.

Mr. Lewis, thank you so much for your leadership.

Chairman Lewis.  Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Speaker Pelosi.  Mr. Kelly, thank you for your participation.

Mr. Chairman [Neal], thank you.

I invite you to say something about it, Chairman.

Chairman Neal.  I think that John Lewis and Mike Kelly, they deserve a lot of credit, certainly.  As you described it, this was the most important pass in consumer protections for the IRS in almost two decades and it was done in a bipartisan manner and, clearly, I think, this was an achievement for the under-served in America.  I’m very grateful for it.  Thank you.

Speaker Pelosi.  Mr. Lewis, thank you for your leadership.

Chairman Lewis.  Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Brady, for all of your help and all of their support and thank you, Mr. Kelly.  We worked together.

Ranking Member Kelly.  Yes, sir.

Chairman Lewis.  We are good friends, so thank you.

Speaker Pelosi.  Mr. Kelly.

Ranking Member Kelly.  Yes, thank you.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Brady, Mr. Lewis.

When we look at the IRS now, it is becoming an advocate, not an adversary.  Far too many Americans fear the IRS and what we are trying to say is, ‘It’s customers first.  We are taking care of the people we can take care of in the best way possible.’

So, thank you for your leadership on it, always a pleasure.  So, thank you for your leadership on it – always a pleasure to be with you.

Speaker Pelosi.  Ranking Member Brady.

Ranking Member Brady.  So, thank you for allowing us to be a part of this enrollment ceremony, Madam Speaker.

So, this was designed to be bipartisan from the very first moment.  We know that working together – with Mr. Lewis’s leadership and Mr. Kelly – that we could make the IRS a taxpayer-first agency.  We could rein in the abuses and really make them protect the privacy of our taxpayers issues, and help the low- and moderate-income.

So, again, I just want to thank Mr. Lewis and Mr. Kelly, and Chairman Neal – thank you for helping us get this across the line.

Speaker Pelosi.  Thank you, Mr. Brady.  And, thank you for here with us this morning.

So, now that this is signed in the House, we will send it over to the Senate to be signed and off to the President to be the law of the land, hopefully, today.

It’s a very important act: Taxpayers First Act, the title says it all.

Thank you my colleagues.

Thank you all.