Today, the House Ways and Means Committee approved Rep. Kristi Noem’s Ensuring Integrity in the IRS Workforce Act, a bill that would prohibit the IRS from rehiring an employee who had been fired for certain forms of misconduct. The bill comes after reports from the Treasury Department showed that the IRS rehired over 200 former employees between January 2015 and March 2016 who had been previously terminated for misconduct or performance issues.

“If a person is fired for falsifying information or mishandling sensitive taxpayer data, it’s commonsense that individuals should not be rehired. Nonetheless, the IRS has done this repeatedly,” said Noem. “This bill makes significant headway in bringing genuine accountability and oversight to the agency responsible for handling our most sensitive financial data. Having received committee approval, I’m hopeful we can move this solution forward quickly.”

WATCH: Noem Advocates for IRS Workforce Integrity

The Treasury Department report found previously-fired employees had been rehired without investigation into previous performance issues. The report went on to detail examples of the misconduct that were overlooked:

  • “Two rehired employees had repeatedly falsified employment forms by omitting prior convictions or terminations.”
  • “Two rehired employees were previously terminated for failure to maintain a successful level of performance in multiple critical job elements as tax examining technicians. However, both of these employees were rehired as tax examining technicians less than six months later.”
  • “One rehired employee had several misdemeanors for theft and a felony for possession of a forgery device.”
  • “Another rehired employee had threatened his or her co-workers.”
  • “Three rehired employees had ‘excessive’ absence without leave for more than 270, 150, and 140 hours respectively.”

Noem first introduced the Ensuring Integrity in the IRS Workforce Act in the 114th Congress. While the bill passed the House with broad bipartisan consensus, the legislation did not receive a vote in the U.S. Senate before the 114th Congress closed. Noem reintroduced the bill on July 27, 2017.

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