[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book I)]
[May 7, 1998]
[Page 716]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Statement on Senate Action on Internal Revenue Service Reform 
May 7, 1998

    I am very pleased that IRS reform took a major step forward today 
with bipartisan passage of the Senate bill. We've worked hard to give 
the American people an IRS that is fairer and more responsive to their 
needs and to support the many dedicated IRS employees who do want to 
serve them well. We've made progress, and final passage of this reform 
bill will help our efforts to give Americans the modern, customer-
friendly IRS they deserve.
    Vice President Gore and Treasury 
Secretary Bob Rubin last year completed a 
top-to-bottom review of customer service at the IRS. This effort has 
launched a complete revamping of customer service at the IRS. IRS 
offices and phones are open longer, problemsolving days have been 
instituted, and independent citizen advocacy panels are being launched. 
I've also appointed a new kind of IRS Commissioner. Charles 
Rossotti is an experienced businessman 
who understands technology and understands customer service. Certainly, 
not every problem will be solved overnight, but our new Commissioner is 
committed to ongoing reform and to correcting problems when they arise.
    The Senate bill, like the House bill, will provide Commissioner 
Rossotti the tools he needs to succeed, 
and it will expand taxpayer rights. The new personnel flexibility 
provisions will allow the IRS to bring in talent and expertise from the 
private sector. The bill provides taxpayers with a stronger Taxpayer 
Advocate. It also advances the important goal of expanding electronic 
filing of tax returns to make it easier for taxpayers.
    I urge the House and Senate to act quickly and send me a bill to 
sign that expands taxpayer rights and moves us forward towards 
delivering an IRS the American people deserve. We will continue to work 
with the Congress on a bipartisan basis on a final bill that advances 
our shared goals, that avoids unintended benefits for noncompliant 
taxpayers, and that is consistent with our commitment to fiscal