Chu, Pascrell, Ways and Means Democrats Press IRS to Ensure Stimulus Help Reaches Neediest Americans
Americans must receive immediate guidance on obtaining and navigating American Rescue Plan resources
Washington, DC, March 23, 2021
U.S. Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) and Judy Chu (D-CA-27), members of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, today led 14 of their committee colleagues in pushing U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Charles Rettig to get stimulus help to Americans who need it most from the historic American Rescue Plan recently passed by the Democratic Congress and signed into law by President Joe Biden.
“[W]e are concerned that families facing the most severe burdens are the least likely to receive the newly enacted relief measures, which often require the filing of a tax return or providing other information to the IRS. These families and individuals who do not receive relief will face severe and continuing hardship, including high rates of food insecurity, homelessness or housing insecurity, and poverty,” the members write, before asking Yellen and Rettig to promptly detail their plans to advertise their outreach to Americans to provide assistance and support under the American Rescue Plan.
Under the American Rescue Plan, the Treasury Secretary is tasked with carrying out “a robust and comprehensive outreach program” to ensure eligible Americans are aware of their eligibility for stimulus payments. It also expands the Child Tax Credit (CTC) to make it fully available to children in families with low earnings. Since many families may be unaware of this change, outreach to them is critical.
The letter is signed by Reps. Chu, Pascrell, Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-03), Dan Kildee (D-MI-05), Don Beyer (D-VA-08), John Larson (D-CT-01), Danny Davis (D-IL-07), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-20), Suzan DelBene (D-WA-01), Linda Sanchez (D-CA-38), Dwight Evans (D-PA-03), Brad Schneider (D-IL-10), Brian Higgins (D-NY-26), Terri Sewell (D-AL-07), Steven Horsford (D-NV-04), and Tom Suozzi (D-NY-03).
A copy of the members’ letter is provided below.
March 23, 2021
The Honorable Janet L. Yellen The Honorable Charles P. Rettig
Secretary of the Treasury Commissioner
U.S. Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW 1111 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20220 Washington, D.C. 20224
Dear Secretary Yellen and Commissioner Rettig:
We write to request information about the outreach plans that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will implement for the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) provisions that provide for $1,400 Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) and the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC). Specifically, we would like a description of planned outreach activities, a timeline for such action, and the status of any ongoing outreach activities.
As you are aware, IRS outreach is particularly important to ensure individuals and households facing severe hardship receive the intended and necessary relief provided for in the ARPA. We appreciate that you and your staff have worked hard to deliver 90 million EIPs as rapidly as possible, and we know that the IRS faces severe administrative and technological constraints due to a decade of underinvestment in the IRS budget. However, we are concerned that families facing the most severe burdens are the least likely to receive the newly enacted relief measures, which often require the filing of a tax return or providing other information to the IRS (such as completing an online portal). These families and individuals who do not receive relief will face severe and continued hardship, including high rates of food insecurity, homelessness or housing insecurity, and poverty.
Specifically, we request information on the IRS’s outreach plans with respect to the following provisions of the new legislation:
We respectfully request that you provide a report to Congress by April 5, 2021 that includes a detailed description of:
We look forward to working with the Treasury Department and the IRS to ensure that all eligible individuals and households receive their EIPs and CTC as quickly as possible to ease their severe economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. We also look forward to working with you later this year to plan outreach and education efforts for broader populations who will now qualify for the EITC and must be alerted about the need to file next year.
Thank you in advance for your assistance on this critical issue.
 On January 22, 2021, President Biden signed an executive order directing the Treasury Department to find ways to deliver EIPs to the approximately 8 million likely eligible people who did not receive such payments. We are interested in learning how the Administration is working to carry out this order while working to implement ARPA. https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/01/22/fact-sheet-president-bidens-new-executive-actions-deliver-economic-relief-for-american-families-and-businesses-amid-the-covid-19-crises/.