Many Americans dread April 15th due to the complexity of our tax code. Unfortunately, taxpayers are not only burdened by the high costs of compliance but are also greatly concerned with the lack of accountability displayed by the very agency charged with collecting taxes.
The current tax code is comprised of more than 10,000 pages of ever-changing laws and regulations and costs taxpayers more than $168 billion to comply annually. In addition to the costs associated with filing, taxpayers and businesses spend more than seven billion hours each year complying with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requirements. This figure does not even include the millions of additional hours spent responding to IRS notices or audits.
In addition to an unfair tax code, the IRS is under scrutiny for violating taxpayers’ First Amendment rights. While Congress continues to thoroughly investigate the actions of IRS employees, this issue is not resolved. We have held numerous hearings and continue to review thousands of documents. Most importantly, we cannot allow this type of misconduct to ever happen again.
On Tax Day the House passed seven bills referred by the Ways and Means Committee, on which I serve, to stop IRS abuses. These bills cut through red tape at the agency with needed reforms, such as making politically-motivated action a fireable offense and ensuring private citizens whose information is illegally leaked by IRS employees can be updated on the investigation. These efforts to clean up the IRS provide an opportunity to rein in an agency which has lost all credibility with Americans and begin to restore public trust.
Another issue of great concern to Nebraska’s farmers, ranchers and small business owners is the estate tax, more commonly known as the death tax. Recently, the owners of a second-generation manufacturing business in western Nebraska with 35 employees told me they fear the death tax could devastate their business. Through more than one generation, the family reinvested profits in growing their business to provide additional opportunity in their community. This is the kind of decision-making the tax code should encourage, not penalize.
Agriculture, particularly raising cattle and crops such as corn, is a land and capital intensive process. These Nebraskans are not sitting on piles of cash; rather, their assets are the land and equipment they use to help feed our nation and the world. They pay income taxes on what they earn and high property taxes on their land on an annual basis. This week, the House voted to permanently repeal the death tax and stop this harmful form of double taxation.
These bills are important steps in the right direction, but there is still extensive work to be done. In my role on the House Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over taxes, I remain committed to overhauling our outdated, uncompetitive and unfair tax code. A plan which simplifies the code would allow us to lower rates and reduce the massive cost of compliance, which would benefit our entire economy.
Though the 2015 tax season has drawn to a close, we will continue working on legislation in the House to both simplify our tax code and prevent further abuses by the IRS. By providing needed relief to hardworking taxpayers, Congress can help make April 15 a more bearable day for all.Read More
Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives this morning in support of H.R. 1105, the Death Tax Repeal Act. Smith is a cosponsor of this legislation, which passed the House today.
Remarks as prepared:
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise today in support of repealing the estate tax.
Repealing the Death Tax is a top priority for Nebraska’s farmers, ranchers, and small business owners.
Agriculture, particularly raising cattle and crops such as corn, is a land and capital intensive process.
These Nebraskans aren’t sitting on piles of cash – their assets are the land and equipment they use to help feed our nation and the world.
They pay income taxes on what they earn, and they pay high property taxes on their land on an annual basis.
They take pride in this work and want their children and grandchildren to continue in their livelihoods.
They shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to ensure their descendants can continue their work when they pass on.
The Death Tax doesn’t penalize the wealthiest Americans. They can plan their estates and give away their wealth as they see fit.
It penalizes those who have worked all their lives and reinvested in their family businesses to ensure their families and neighbors have every opportunity to be hardworking taxpayers.
I urge a Yea vote, to support growing opportunity in the U.S.
I yield back.Read More
Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) participated today in a House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee hearing on the individual and employer mandates in President Obama’s health care law. In the hearing, Smith pressed Sabrina Corlette, Senior Research Fellow and Project Director at Georgetown University’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms, on whether CoOportunity Health customers should receive a waiver from Obamacare’s individual mandate penalties following the loss of their health care plans due to CoOportunity Health’s liquidation.
Click here for video of Congressman Smith’s exchange with Sabrina Corlette, Senior Research Fellow and Project Director at Georgetown University’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms. In February 2015, Smith introduced H.R. 954 which would exempt consumers who purchased coverage under a terminated qualified health plan funded through the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO–OP) program, such as CoOportunity Health, from paying Obamacare’s individual mandate penalties.
For more information on H.R. 954, click here.Read More
Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) introduced legislation today to broaden consumer fuel choice by expanding the existing waiver of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations related to the Reid vapor pressure of motor vehicle fuel to include E15 gasoline in addition to E10.
EPA regulations currently inhibit E15 fuel sales during the summer months. E10 fuel received a waiver in 1990, and Smith’s bill would extend this waiver to also include E15.
“Ethanol provides consumers in Nebraska and across America with a competitive, clean, domestically-produced alternative,” Smith said. “However, burdensome EPA regulations are restricting consumers’ options at the fuel pump.
“Though E10 received a waiver decades ago, the same regulatory relief has not yet been extended to E15. We must pursue an all-of-the-above energy policy, which includes ethanol and other renewable fuels, by reducing red tape and encouraging innovation in the energy marketplace.”Read More
One of my great privileges as a Member of Congress is the opportunity to nominate a select group of young Nebraskans to attend the U.S. Service Academies. These institutions provide a first-rate education and unmatched opportunities for young people looking to achieve their highest potential in education and service.
Each year, students contact my offices to ask how we can help them accomplish their goal of serving our country. I have nominated young men and women to attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York; the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland; the U.S. Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Colorado; and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York. The honor of attending a service academy comes with an obligation and commitment to serve in the military for a minimum of five years upon graduation.
To provide Nebraskans interested in this unique opportunity with more information, I am hosting my annual Academy Day on April 18, 2015, in conjunction with the offices of U.S. Senators Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse. The event will take place at Central Community College in Grand Island from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. CDT. Academy Day will provide you with the information you need to determine whether an education at a U.S. Service Academy is the right choice for you or your child. Representatives from the academies will be in attendance to discuss the application process, academy life, and benefits of enrolling.
In order to be considered for nomination, students are required to complete two steps. First, a completed Academy Packet must be submitted to my Grand Island office with a postmark date no later than September 30, 2015. The packet provides academic records, letters of recommendation, and other relevant information to help make the decision.
The second step to receive a nomination is the required personal interview. In early November 2015, students who have completed packets by the required deadline will be invited for an interview with the Academy Advisory Committee, which has been established to help evaluate applicants for nomination.
Once these steps are complete, I will nominate a select few for admission. Ultimately, the final decision to admit a nominee belongs to the Academies. Criteria for admission include personal merit, academic achievement, character traits, leadership ability, physical aptitude, and extracurricular involvement. For more information about the Academy Packet and the nomination process, please visit my website: http://adriansmith.house.gov.
Earlier this year, I was nominated to serve on the U.S. Coast Guard Academy’s Board of Visitors for the 114th Congress. In this role, I look forward to working with our U.S. Service Academies to continue their extraordinary legacy of preparing young people for service to our country.
Nebraska has a rich history of service, with many patriotic young men and women willing to step forward to answer the call of duty. It is my honor to help our accomplished young people take advantage of the opportunities provided by the U.S. Service Academies and cultivate our country’s next generation of military leaders.Read More
Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) today announced the Third District’s winning artists of the 2015 Congressional Art Competition. On Thursday, Smith visited Potter-Dix High School in Potter, Nebraska, to personally congratulate first place winner Sara Gingerich.
Smith worked with the Nebraska Art Teachers Association to coordinate the competition. The first place artwork will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Smith will display the runners-up in his Washington, D.C. and Third District offices.
“Each year, I continue to be impressed by and proud of the level of talent displayed by Nebraska’s young artists,” said Smith. “Congratulations to the winners, to all the students who entered, and to their teachers who have helped them cultivate these remarkable skills.”
First Place: Sara Gingerich from Dix, Potter-Dix High School “Rustic Cowgirl” Sara’s work will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year.
Second Place: Lenae Kohmetscher from Blue Hill, Blue Hill Community School “Rusted Dreams” Lenae’s work will be displayed in Smith’s Washington, D.C. office.
Third Place: Corbin Snow from Litchfield, Litchfield High School “Great Plains Harvest” Corbin’s work will be displayed in Smith’s Scottsbluff office.
Fourth Place: Madison Yantzie from Shickley, Shickley High School “Fierce” Madison’s work will be displayed in Smith’s Grand Island office.Read More
Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE), in conjunction with the offices of U.S. Senators Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse, will host the 2015 Third District Service Academy Open House on Saturday, April 18, in Grand Island.
This event is an opportunity for young people in Nebraska to learn more about all U.S. Service Academies and other opportunities for military service. Any Nebraska high school or college students interested in military opportunities, as well as their families, are encouraged to attend.
Third District Service Academy Open House Saturday, April 18, 2015 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. CT Central Community College’s Health Sciences 500 Building 3134 West US Highway 34, Grand Island, NE 68801
Representatives from the U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy, and Army ROTC will be on hand to answer questions and provide information.
Representatives from the offices of Congressman Smith, Senator Fischer, and Senator Sasse will also be in attendance to answer questions about the Service Academy nomination process.
For questions about the 2015 Third District Service Academy Open House, please contact Congressman Smith’s Grand Island office at 308-384-3900.Read More
Constituents of Third District Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) will be able to meet with a representative of Congressman Smith’s office for a “mobile office” at two locations in Nebraska's Third District on Tuesday, April 14.
A “mobile office” allows constituents to meet directly with one of Smith’s staff members about federal issues and take advantage of the constituent services available through his office, such as assisting individuals with challenges they face while working with a federal agency, ordering flags flown over the U.S. Capitol and booking tours in Washington, D.C.
Smith, who has offices in Grand Island and Scottsbluff, will provide his mobile office and a staff member at the following locations and times:
Grant County Courthouse 105 E. Harrison Street, Hyannis, NE 69350 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. (MT)
Morrill County Courthouse 6th & Main Street, Bridgeport, NE 69336 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. (MT)
For additional information, contact Congressman Smith’s Scottsbluff office at (308) 633-6333.Read More
Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) will meet constituents of the Third District during two “mobile offices” on Tuesday, April 7 in Alliance, and Wednesday, April 8 in Stapleton.
A “mobile office” allows constituents to meet directly with Congressman Smith about federal issues and take advantage of the constituent services available through his office, such as assisting individuals with challenges they face while working with a federal agency, ordering flags flown over the U.S. Capitol, and booking tours in Washington, D.C.
Smith, who has offices in Grand Island and Scottsbluff, will hold the mobile offices at the following times and locations:
Tuesday, April 7 Box Butte County Courthouse Commissioners Room 515 Box Butte Avenue, Alliance, NE 69301 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (MT)
Wednesday, April 8 Logan County Courthouse 317 Main Street, Stapleton, NE 69163 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (CT)
For additional information, contact Congressman Smith’s Scottsbluff office at (308) 633-6333.Read More
Nebraskans are already wary of the red tape flowing from Washington. As the list of federal regulations under the Obama administration continues to grow, many people are concerned about the impacts these bureaucratic obstacles are having on their lives and livelihoods.
Throughout the Third District, I hear strong opposition to the Waters of the United States rule, or WOTUS. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed changes to the definition of WOTUS would expand federal jurisdiction to include nearly all bodies of water, from ditches to prairie potholes. This would place a massive regulatory burden on our nation’s farmers.
Last year, Congress passed and implemented language which blocked WOTUS implementation for agriculture. However, much work still needs to be done. I recently sent a letter to the House Appropriations Committee asking them to include language in upcoming funding legislation to prohibit appropriating funds for WOTUS.
Earlier this year, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) proposed a ban on M855 ammunition. Many Nebraskans contacted me with deep concerns about this unilateral action by the administration. Thankfully, the potential Second Amendment infringement was stopped in its tracks when tens of thousands of Americans, as well as Congress, made their opposition known.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is also making Nebraskans uneasy with its track record of using regulations to limit First Amendment rights. The congressional investigation into the IRS’s actions is ongoing. Meanwhile, the Ways and Means Committee passed seven bills last week to cut through red tape at the IRS with needed reforms, such as making political targeting a fireable offense and ensuring private citizens whose information is illegally leaked by IRS employees can be updated on the investigation.
Though we are making strides on these issues, the list of regulations keeps growing. I launched Regulation Rewind last year to fight back against the overreach of the federal government, and I am continuing this initiative in 2015. With your help, we can identify and find solutions to unnecessary federal regulations which hurt economic growth, limit opportunities for rural Americans, are inconsistent with the law, or are unfair.
We had a number of successes in Regulation Rewind’s first year. For example, many Nebraskans contacted me when the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) stated its intent to regulate small farms, even though this is specifically prohibited by law. In response, I helped organize a coalition of more than 80 Members of Congress from both parties to write the Department of Labor opposing the regulation of small farms and challenging the department’s authority. The department quickly changed course and rescinded its proposal.
After hearing directly from health care professionals in the Third District about arbitrary regulations impacting Critical Access Hospitals, I also introduced two bills to ensure access to quality health care for rural Americans. The Critical Access Hospital Relief Act and the Rural Health Care Provider Relief Act have been referred to the Ways and Means Committee, on which I serve, and are garnering bipartisan support. Congress successfully blocked one regulation regarding physician supervision last year, and I have reintroduced these bills in the new Congress.
This year, we must continue our fight against an out-of-control bureaucracy. Please visit my website at www.AdrianSmith.house.gov/RegulationRewind to see an updated list of our efforts and to contact me with your examples. Thank you for partnering with me to stand against government overreach and reduce the regulatory burden on Nebraskans.Read More
2241 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Congressman Adrian Smith has earned praise for his leadership, hard work and dedication to Nebraska commonsense. Smith has tackled issues ranging from biofuels and other forms of domestic energy to transportation research and development to fashioning legislation promoting rural America.
Smith has consistently voted against tax increases, massive government bailouts, and was unwavering in his opposition of the misguided health care bill now creating massive uncertainty for our nation’s job creators.
Smith, a co-sponsor of the Balanced Budget Amendment and a supporter of a Congressional earmark moratorium, has earned a reputation as a solid conservative through his votes to protect the rights of gun owners, efforts to limit the scope of government, and his strong pro-life voting record.
Smith, who serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means, actively promotes access for Nebraska agriculture products in Asia, South America, and throughout the world. Nebraska’s $4 billion in worldwide agricultural exports creates $6.7 billion in additional economic activity. Smith supports trade agreements which will continue to create new opportunities for our agriculture producers and their products to keep Nebraska’s economy strong.
Smith’s assignment on the Ways and Means Committee also puts the Nebraskan on the front lines in the debate on how to create jobs, promote economic growth, and directly impact tax policy – such as the Death Tax which threatens family farms and ranches.
Smith’s also has introduced the bipartisan Small-Scale Hydropower Enhancement Act which would help stimulate the economy of rural America, empower local irrigation districts to generate revenue, and decrease reliance on fossil fuels by encouraging the use of small-scale hydropower projects.
The Gering native, whose family has called Nebraska home for six generations, was first introduced to politics by his grandfather. Prior to his election to Congress, Smith served his hometown as a member of the City Council. He then represented District 48 for eight years in the Unicameral.
He continues to reside in Gering.
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