The Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act will encourage states to combat sex trafficking among youth in foster care, promote normalcy for foster youth, help move more children from foster care into adoptive homes or the homes of relatives, and increase the amount of child support provided to families in which one parent resides outside of the U.S. The legislation is fully paid for, and is expected to reduce the deficit by $19 million over the next 10 years.
The following are key provisions of the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act.
Title I: Protecting Youth at Risk of Sex Trafficking
Title II: Improving Adoption Incentives
Title III: Improving International Child Support Recovery
Click here for more information on the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act.
“The Administration has tried to hide the ball from Congress on just how much it is spending on the health care law," said Camp. “After ignoring repeated requests from Congress, we now find out that the Administration is not even keeping track of how many taxpayer dollars are going out the door. Worse yet, the Administration won’t even account for how much it spent on public relations campaigns promoting their unpopular law. “
"The GAO's report confirms what we already know - this Administration is not interested in following the letter of the law when it comes to the ACA,“ added Boustany. “Chairman Camp, my colleagues, and I won't stop demanding answers until the Administration is held fully accountable for this action."
The report found:
WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) must take bold and innovative action to combat more than $5 billion in fraudulent identity theft tax refunds, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The report, requested by leaders on the Senate Finance and Aging Committees as well as the House Ways and Means Committee, said the IRS should take additional steps to strengthen its pre-refund and anti-fraud efforts to effectively stop tax refund fraud before it even starts.
“The IRS is not doing enough to protect Americans from the terrible crime of identity theft and fraud,” said House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI). “In one case, the IRS received over 2,000 returns from a single address – paying out over $3.3 million in refunds. That is not just a simple error, that is clear mismanagement. IRS must ensure that all is being done to stop detect fraudulent payments, protect hard-earned taxpayer dollars, and stop the crime of tax fraud.”
“The American people should be able to trust the IRS to protect their identities, preserve their privacy, and ensure their hard-earned money isn’t being carelessly flushed down the drain. Sadly, that’s not the case,” said Finance Committee Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). “As the GAO made clear today, there is more that can be done to improve the agency’s anti-fraud capabilities. Moving forward, I hope the IRS will take a serious look at these recommendations and work with Congress to implement smart safeguards that not only better serve the victims of identity theft refund fraud but, ultimately, stop it before it even starts.”
“By the time IRS matches all of the payroll information it collects with the tax returns it receives, billions of dollars in fraudulent refunds have already been sent out the door. This is a serious and unacceptable issue that must be addressed now,” said Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). “This GAO report is an important step forward as it makes a number of important recommendations for verifying that taxpayers are getting the refunds they deserve and that the fraudsters don’t get them instead. I’m working closely with my colleagues here in the Congress and with the IRS to fight this serious and growing problem that hurts both citizens and the integrity of our tax administration.”
“This problem isn’t going away, unless we go hard after these criminals while also doing what we can to prevent this crime," said U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), chairman of the Aging Committee and a proponent of various initiatives to curb ID theft and tax fraud. "Too many Americans already have paid a high price, especially those unfortunate enough to have fallen victim to identity theft. Many of them sometimes end up waiting years just to get their own tax refund. The time has come for Congress to act.”
"Despite efforts to prevent tax refunds from being paid to con artists who have stolen the identities of taxpayers, the IRS paid $5.2 billion in refunds based on fraudulent tax returns in 2013,” said U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), Ranking Member of the Senate Aging Committee. “These fraudulent tax refund payments waste taxpayer dollars and jeopardize the legitimate refunds of taxpayers. The IRS must do more to prevent fraudulent tax refunds from being paid to fraudsters rather than to their rightful claimant."
Identity theft (IDT) refund fraud occurs when a fraudster files a false tax return using a stolen Social Security number and other personal information and receives a tax refund from the IRS. The IRS estimates that in 2013, it paid $5.2 billion in fraudulent IDT refunds.
GAO and the IRS both agree that this large problem is an evolving threat as fraudsters are adapting to additional controls the IRS has implemented to combat IDT refund fraud. Fraudsters are able to take advantage of the IRS’ “look-back” compliance efforts, in which the IRS issues tax-refunds before completing all compliance checks.
GAO recommends that the IRS take additional actions to enhance its pre-refund anti-fraud efforts, as preventing fraud is more effective than “claw-back” recovery efforts.
Key findings from the GAO report follow and a full copy of the report can be found HERE:
The Senate Finance and Aging Committees as well as the House Ways and Means Committee have extensively examined the issue of identity theft refund fraud, including its impact on taxpayers and ways to effectively curb the practice. Senators Hatch and Wyden introduced bipartisan legislation, the Tax Refund Theft Prevention Act, to improve the IRS’ anti-fraud capabilities and enhance protections for victims of identity theft refund fraud.
“We’ve been down this rabbit hole before, and until the White House gets serious about tax reform, we are going to keep losing good companies and jobs to countries that have or are actively reforming their tax laws. A few campaign style speeches and stopgap measures from Treasury won’t do it – it hasn’t worked in the past, and even Secretary Lew admits the only real solution is tax reform. I fear this Administration is only interested in doing the bare minimum – just enough to say they care. The American people see right through that – they see it in their paychecks, which have been flat; they see it when their kids cannot find a job after college; and, they see it when our high tax rates push our companies overseas. It is time for the Administration to put forward a serious, detailed, credible plan to reform our tax code.”
Specifically, the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (H.R. 4980) would encourage states to combat sex trafficking among youth in foster care; promote normalcy for foster youth; help move more children from foster care into adoptive homes or the homes of relatives; and, increase the amount of child support provided to families in which one parent resides outside of the U.S. The legislation is fully paid for.
In June, House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., and Ranking Member Sander Levin, D-Mich., along with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Ranking Member Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, announced this bipartisan legislation. The legislation, which ultimately passed both the Senate and House reconciled differences on three bills previously approved by the House (H.R. 1896, H.R. 3205, and H.R. 4058) and the Senate Finance Committee (S. 1876, S. 1877, and S. 1878).
The following are key provisions of the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act. The bill was introduced in the House by Camp, Levin and House Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee Chairman Dave Reichert, R-Wash., and Ranking Member Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas:
Title I: Protecting Youth at Risk of Sex Trafficking
Title II: Improving Adoption Incentives
Title III: Improving International Child Support Recovery
Overall, the entire bill would save $1 million over 5 years and $19 million over 10 years.
House Ways and Means Chairman Camp said: “We must do all we can to protect and improve the lives of children in foster care. This bill will help protect vulnerable youth from becoming victims of the horrible crime of sex trafficking, as well as ensure that foster youth have a better chance of living safe, healthy and normal lives. Importantly, it will encourage more adoptions of children in foster care so they can live in permanent, loving homes. I am pleased we have done this in a bipartisan, bicameral way so this bill can quickly become law.”
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Wyden said: “This sends a clear message that states can’t turn a blind eye to child sex trafficking, and that there’s a responsibility to identify victims and build a systemic response. This law will help also foster children build stable relationships with permanent families, where they are much less likely to fall victim to pimps and traffickers and other predators. I urge the President to quickly sign this legislation which Congress has enacted with overwhelming support and will help keep vulnerable children from ending up in the streets, homeless shelters or the juvenile justice system by creating permanent, healthy, and supportive relationships.
House Ways and Means Ranking Member Levin said: “This legislation will help protect vulnerable children from exploitation, move foster children into permanent homes and strengthen child support enforcement across international borders. I hope we can use a similar bipartisan process to further strengthen families, reduce hardship and safeguard children.”
Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Hatch said: “This bill takes crucial steps to improve the lives of children and youth in the foster care system who are vulnerable to sex trafficking and other negative outcomes. I am pleased that a number of provisions I introduced last year in my bill, I O Youth, are included in this legislation. While there is more to be done to reform child welfare, such as ending the over-reliance on group homes, this bill takes a critical step forward. “
House Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee Chairman Reichert said: “The Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act makes key changes to our nation's child welfare system to improve the lives of kids in foster care. We have committed to protect these children and we are responsible for their safety and success, yet for too long we have not lived up to that that promise. This legislation will help protect children from the horrors of sex trafficking and give them opportunities to lead more normal and successful lives. It also encourages states to move children into permanent, loving homes more quickly. Passage of this bill is a victory for America's children, and the President needs to sign this legislation without delay.”
House Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee Ranking Member Doggett said: “Much more is needed to protect vulnerable children, but this bill represents a constructive step forward.”
The legislation enjoys widespread support within the child welfare community, and its supporters include (in alphabetical order):
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Psychological Association
Association on American Indian Affairs
Central Council Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska
Children’s Advocacy Center of Suffolk County
Children’s Advocacy Institute
Children Awaiting Parents
Children's Defense Fund
Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
Eastern Shashone Tribe
First Focus Campaign for Children
Fort Belknap Child Support Program
Foster Family-Based Treatment Association
Keweenaw Bay Indian Community
Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
Menominee Tribal Child Support Agency
Mescalero Apache Tribe
Meskwaki Nation Child Support Services
National Adoption Center
National Child Support Enforcement Association
National Children's Alliance
National Foster Parent Association
National Indian Child Welfare Association
Nebraska Families Collaborative
Nez Perce Tribe
North American Council on Adoptable Children
NYS Citizens' Coalition for Children
Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin
Oregon Post Adoption Resource Center
Penobscot Nation Child Support Agency
Red Cliff Tribal Child Support Services Agency
The Adoption Exchange
The Attachment and Trauma Network
The California Alliance of Child and Family Services
The Child Welfare League of America
The Donaldson Adoption Institute
The National Crittenton Foundation
Tribal Child Support Enforcement, Modoc Tribe of Oklahoma
Voice for Adoption
You Gotta Believe
The IMPACT Act of 2014 also strengthens Medicare’s oversight of hospice care by ensuring that Medicare dollars are spent efficiently and that high quality care is provided.
“This bill is critical to driving fundamental reform of care for seniors after a hospitalization. Working together in an open, transparent way, the Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees were able to produce a bill that will ensure our seniors get the highest quality and most cost effective care possible,” Camp said. ”The IMPACT Act represents the beginning of a much larger conversation. We owe it to our seniors to ensure the Medicare program is able to provide the seamless care that we all expect. This bill is a necessary first step and lays down the foundation of reform that will continue to evolve over the next several years.”
“This legislation aims to significantly improve post-acute care by building on the positive strides we have made in recent years toward more accountable, quality-driven health care,” Levin said. “The bipartisan, bicameral legislation, crafted with my colleagues on the Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees, lays the groundwork for enabling Medicare providers, patients, and their families to make health care decisions that work for them.”
“This bipartisan bill is an important and welcome accomplishment in our quest to provide patients, consumers and the federal government the best tools for evaluating the quality of care patients receive and the way our health care dollars are spent. It’s also is an example of how members of Congress from both parties and both Houses can come together to address an important need. I’m looking forward as we build on this experience to achieve additional reforms,” Wyden said.
"Thanks to the IMPACT Act, Medicare patients now have peace of mind that they will have access to the right kind of care at the right time after receiving treatment in a hospital," Hatch said. "This is smart policy that will help lay the groundwork for further reforms to the Medicare program to help guarantee its solvency for future generations. I'm proud to have worked with my colleagues in both the Senate and House on this important initiative and look forward to continuing with our efforts to strengthen and improve the Medicare program for America's seniors."
The IMPACT Act moves forward on the long-standing policy goal of collecting standardized data from Medicare post-acute care (PAC) providers. It will align Medicare PAC providers and create a more accountable, quality-driven PAC benefit.
Specifically, the IMPACT Act requires data standardization that enables Medicare to:
This information will allow future payment reforms to be driven by quality and efficiency while protecting beneficiary access to appropriate services.
The legislation that now goes to the White House is largely a product of a discussion draft in March that was shaped by input the lawmakers received from the post-acute care community. Last year, the lawmakers invited interested stakeholders to submit ideas on how to strengthen post-acute care, a variety of health care services that support a patient’s continued recovery from a serious illness.
Post-acute care includes services in Long Term Care Hospitals (LTCHs), Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRFs), Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs), and Home Health Agencies (HHAs). The IMPACT Act is based on the policy and legislative recommendations of more than 70 stakeholders in the health care community and will help lay the groundwork for the modernization of PAC services within Medicare to ensure the program works better for beneficiaries and taxpayers alike.
Source: CNNMoney, The American Dream Is Out of Reach (June 2014)
As introduced on June 17, 2014, Ways and Means Chairman Camp is listing 40 reasons for the Senate to pass the 40 jobs bills the House has already approved. The reasons define the distress Americans continue to feel in the “new normal” of high unemployment and weak job creation resulting from Obama Administration economic policies.
View the prior reasons here.
The bill we have before us today, the Jobs for America Act, includes provisions that have strong bipartisan support in both the House and Senate.
The research and development credit, which has been around for over thirty years, is a proven way to incentivize U.S. companies to innovate, create new products, and invest in the U.S. The United States is also the only country that allows important pieces of its tax code to expire on a regular basis. Businesses cannot grow and invest when the tax code is riddled with instability and uncertainty.
Making the R&D tax credit permanent also supports good-paying jobs. According to the National Association of Manufacturers, 70 percent of R&D credit dollars are used to pay salaries of R&D workers. And, the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that making the R&D credit permanent could increase the amount of research and development American companies undertake by up to 10 percent. That translates into more workers, higher wages and increased innovation here in the U.S.
This bill would also make permanent bonus depreciation and Section 179 expensing at higher levels, allowing businesses, farmers and ranchers to plan for the future and expand their business. The result: more jobs and higher wages for hardworking Americans. Tax Foundation analysis found that permanent bonus depreciation would add $182 billion to the economy, increase wages by one percent, and create 212,000 jobs.
Additionally, the bill would make permanent several expired tax provisions that benefit S corporations – a popular and important business structure used by millions of small businesses across the country. This commonsense effort will give small businesses some much needed relief from the burdens of the tax code, allowing them to make new investments and create new jobs.
This bill would also repeal some of the job-killing provisions in the health care law. The current “30-hour rule” in the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate results in fewer jobs, reduced hours and less opportunity for many Americans. By changing the definition of full-time work, ObamaCare places an unprecedented government regulation on workers. As a direct result, Americans across the country are having their hours cut at work and seeing smaller paychecks. At a time when the cost of groceries, gas and health care keep increasing, lower paychecks are simply unacceptable.
Worst of all, the law hits lower-income Americans the hardest: 2.6 million workers with a median income under $30,000 are at risk for losing jobs or hours; 89 percent of workers impacted by the rule do not have college degrees, 63 percent of which are women; and, over half have a high school diploma or less. Simply restoring the definition of full-time work to 40 hours will ensure that the hardest working Americans do not see their hours and wages cut as a result of the health care law. And, this bill also ensures that small businesses that hire veterans returning from service overseas who already have coverage through TRICARE or the VA aren’t counted under the employer mandate.
And, we repeal the onerous medical device tax, which is stifling medical innovation and hurting jobs. According to a survey by AdvaMed, the medical device tax has already resulted in 14,000 jobs lost in the industry and prevented 19,000 jobs from being created. This tax is contributing to lackluster job creation and hampering medical innovation. We have strong bipartisan support for repeal of this tax, and to repeal it before even more detrimental harm is done to the workforce and medical community.
These are only a few among a long list of policies that will ultimately get Americans back to work and increase their quality of living. With better jobs, higher take home pay and a stronger economy, we can offer a brighter future for our youth and ease the everyday burdens felt by individuals nationwide. It’s time to create an America that works.
“This bill provides important technical corrections to various tax provisions to address ambiguities that only make the tax code more confusing and complex,” said Camp. “This tax technical corrections bill will help provide clarity both to taxpayers and to those administering the tax law, while Congress continues to work to ease the burden our broken tax code has on hardworking Americans and businesses small and large.”
“These commonsense corrections to the tax code will make it easier for American taxpayers to comply with our federal tax law,” said Levin. “I thank the Joint Committee on Taxation for working with us to get these important corrections done.”
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