Senator Carper Highlights Support for Nominees to Key IRS and Board of Trustees of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Fund
Today at the Senate Finance Committee hearing, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), a senior member of the Committee, heard from Marjorie A. Rollinson, nominee to serve as the Chief Counsel for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Assistant General Counsel in the Department of the Treasury, as well as Patricia Neuman and Demetrios L. Kouzoukas, both nominees to serve on the Board of Trustees of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Fund. Ms. Rollinson is the last remaining IRS vacancy that requires Senate confirmation.
During the hearing, Senator Carper focused on the critical role that the IRS Chief Counsel plays in supporting the agency’s workforce and the work that lies ahead:
“I’ve mentioned the importance of our workforce, but one of the most important tools for success in any organization, including the IRS, is the strength of its workforce. Unfortunately, during the 2010s, the IRS budget was depleted and the agency lost what I’m told is 20,000 full-time employees, leading to an overwhelming backlog that we’ve talked about – poor customer service and really low morale among IRS workers. Under the leadership of Commissioner Werfel – who I was privileged to introduce and actually recommend to the President to nominate for the leadership post of the IRS – the agency has taken steps to support its employees and rebuild its workforce. There’s more work to do.”
Senator Carper also highlighted recent progress in ensuring taxpayers seeking assistance receive effective customer service from the agency, which will be central to the work of the next IRS Chief Counsel:
“I’m proud of the work that we did in the Inflation Reduction Act, which my staff and I played an important role in providing some badly needed funding for the agency. And I’m encouraged that those investments are paying off. One of the most important measures of success of the IRS is agency responsiveness to everyday taxpayers seeking assistance. […] In terms of the IRS answering phone calls, during the 2023 filing system about 87 percent of phone calls were answered by the IRS, [meaning] somebody picked up the phone at the IRS to talk to a constituent. […] Compared to before 2023, we’re looking at a number not of 87 percent of calls answered, but about 15 percent of calls answered. I think that’s almost criminal for the people that we’re supposed to be to be serving. And now it’s a lot better. It’s not perfect, but it’s one heck of a lot better.”
This hearing follows Senator Carper’s ongoing work to make the tax filing system more equitable and accessible for American taxpayers. Senator Carper has led two letters this year, emphasizing the need for the IRS to simplify the tax filing process and expand access to free e-filing options. In June, he also co-sponsored the bipartisan Refund Equality Act.
A video of Senator Carper’s questions at today’s hearing can be found here.