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December 16, 2008: Ways and Means Leaders Urge IRS to End Private Debt Collection Service
Taxpayers deserve to work with trained IRS professionals who are more efficient at collecting tax debt
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles B. Rangel (D-NY) and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman John Lewis (D-GA) joined fellow Committee members in a letter today urging President-elect Barack Obama to end the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) use of private contractors to collect Federal taxes.  The IRS is currently deciding whether to renew the existing contracts for another year.  The Committee has taken the lead in recent years on efforts to end the private debt collection program, arguing that tax collection is an inherent Government function and that professional IRS agents are more efficient at collecting outstanding tax debt.  In 2007, the Committee conducted an investigation into the use of private debt collectors and found that their services often subjected taxpayers to undue harassment and confusion not associated with the use of trained IRS agents.
December 3, 2008: Rep. John Lewis Responds to the Death of Legendary Restauranteur James Paschal
Last Friday, James Paschal, one of the founders of Paschal’s Restaurant, died in Atlanta due to the complications of heart surgery.  He was 88 years old.  Paschal’s Restaurant was an unofficial headquarters for the Civil Rights Movement in Atlanta.  Many of the organizing meetings to plan now historic civil rights actions, like the March on Washington and the Selma-to-Montgomery March, were held at Paschal’s.  At a time when public accommodations were racially segregated by law throughout the South, Paschal’s was considered an oasis where civil rights activists could congregate, relax, nourish themselves, and in the comfort of that environment fuel their minds to plan major movement actions.  Rep. John Lewis, the last remaining member of the Big Six civil rights leaders and former chairman of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), made this comment about the passing of James Paschal:

December 3, 2008: Lewis, Stabenow, and Pryce Join UNCF to Announce Signing of Commemorative Civil Rights Coin Bill

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, a bill shepherded through the House and Senate by Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-OH), Sen. Deborah Stabenow (D-MI) which authorizes the minting of a commemorative Civil Rights coin to benefit the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) was signed into law by the President.  The bill directs the Treasury Department to issue 350,000 one-dollar coins marking the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  More than a tribute, the bill will assist UNCF, the nation’s largest and most effective minority higher education assistance organization, by allocating all coin proceeds to help fund scholarship programs to support UNCF’s 39 member historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

An estimated 33 million people are living with HIV/AIDS in the world today. More than a million of those people live in the United States. From 2001 to 2005, the number of deaths from AIDS had decreased throughout the nation, however, that rate continued to climb in the South.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are more people in the South living with and dying from AIDS today than in any other region of the country.
November 13, 2008: Rep. Lewis's Response to Mayor Franklin's Request for Federal Aid

Rep. John Lewis made this comment earlier today related to news of the Atlanta city government’s financial problems:

"Mayor Franklin has delivered some very difficult news. There are tough times ahead for all of us who live in Atlanta. I am aware of her request for federal assistance. Right now, it is too early to determine what kind of federal support the city can receive. I am in the process of talking to the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Charlie Rangel, and other colleagues to determine how the federal government can help the city as we confront this crisis."

Charities Enhancement Act of 2008

 Inaugural Information


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