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Quigley Invites Furloughed IRS Employee to Join as State of the Union Guest

Feb 4, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Tomorrow, February 4, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), who serves as Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government (FSGG), will bring Chante Copeland-Smith as his guest to President Trump’s State of the Union address. An Individual Tax Advisory Specialist working in a Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) for sixteen years, Ms. Copeland-Smith was furloughed during the entire thirty-five day shutdown. She also serves as Vice-President of the National Treasury Employees Union local IRS Chapter 86.

“It is my privilege to invite Chante Copeland-Smith to join tomorrow’s State of the Union address as my guest,” said Rep. Quigley. “A hardworking and compassionate public servant, Chante has dedicated her life’s work to helping American taxpayers navigate the complex refund process and collect the money they rely on to make ends meet. The shutdown did not only impact her ability to perform her job, it is also directly affected her entire family, causing uncertainty and fear surrounding their own financial responsibilities. I extend my deepest sympathies to Chante for the chaos she endured during those thirty-five days, and I look forward to speaking with her about her experience and House Democrats’ efforts to prevent another disastrous shutdown later this month.”

“The shutdown impacted me personally causing me not to be able to pay my freshman in college’s tuition and her classes to be dropped,” said Ms. Copeland-Smith. “I had to contact the University and beg them to reconsider because of the shutdown. I’ve had to haggle and make open ended arrangements with bill collectors and didn’t have gas to put in my car. The list goes on and on, and we are afraid again about the [possibility of another] shutdown.”

As Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees the Internal Revenue Service, Rep. Quigley introduced legislation to re-open the IRS and other key agencies, including the Department of the Treasury, Small Business Administration, and the Securities and Exchange Commission. This bill passed the House by a vote of 240-188 on January 9.

“I know the taxpayers count on their refund check year after year to pay bills, pay for college, and make big purchases that they wouldn’t ordinarily be able to afford,” Ms. Copeland-Smith added. “We still are unsure when taxpayers can expect to receive their refunds.”

IRS employees preform a number of key functions, including designing and printing upcoming tax forms, overseeing electronic returns processed through the system, continuing IRS computer operations to prevent loss of data, and conducting criminal investigations. Fewer employees at the IRS impact taxpayers and tax professionals preparing for the 2019 return filing season, often resulting in delayed returns, difficulty obtaining transcripts for loans, paused audits and exams, and unanswered questions for American families.