Statements and Speeches
WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, released the following statement regarding the committee’s hearing on “Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Data Theft Affecting Taxpayer Information.”
“I would like to thank Chairman Hatch and Ranking Member Wyden for calling this hearing to discuss the most recent data breach at the Internal Revenue Service, and the steps the agency is taking to respond to and prevent similar attacks in the future. It is crucial that we work throughout the federal government, and across party lines here in Congress, to provide our federal agencies with the tools, resources, and flexibility they need to protect the personal information of all Americans.
“Every day, our federal agencies wage a war against cyber criminals who are set on stealing our personal information and selling it to the highest bidder. Few agencies present a greater target than the IRS. Due to steady and substantial budget cuts over the last five fiscal years – roughly a 10 percent reduction in funding from 2010 to 2015 – the IRS has been forced to make hard choices in terms of what services it can afford to provide and what it cannot. I have consistently said that the government must use taxpayer dollars wisely and effectively, and often that means having to do more with less, but at a certain point budget cuts can be pennywise and pound foolish.
“I am concerned that may be the case when it comes to the IRS and the resources Congress is providing as it pertains to the agency’s cybersecurity efforts. We can’t, on one hand, reprimand the IRS for not better protecting taxpayer’s sensitive information while, on the other, we slash their budget.
“In the wake of this latest cyberattack, I look forward to discussing with Commissioner Koskinen and Inspector General George how the IRS plans to improve cybersecurity in the future, and how Congress can better support the critical mission of the IRS.”