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Federal Government
Sen. Burr Thanks Charlotte Dad In Opening Statement For Subcommittee on Taxation & IRS Oversight Hearing PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 23 July 2014 12:31

RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - At a Senate committee meeting on Wednesday, North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr commented on the subject of helping families with disabilities. 

In his comments, Sen. Burr thanked Charlotte-area father Robert D'Amelio, who is dad to two children with autism.
Sen. Burr's prepared opening statement is below.
Thank you, Chairman Casey and Ranking Member Enzi, for holding this important hearing on the ABLE Act.  I particularly want to thank you, Chairman Casey, as well as Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers, for being such passionate advocates for the ABLE Act.  You along with Congressmen Ander Crenshaw, Chris Van Hollen and Pete Sessions have been tremendous partners in this effort, and I cannot think of a more energetic or more devoted team for getting the ABLE Act done.
Mr. Chairman, as has already been said, the ABLE Act enjoys unprecedented bipartisan support.  Over three-quarters of the Congress has now put their name on this bill as cosponsors, and if we had a vote on it today, I would venture to say that the ABLE Act would pass Congress unanimously.  And the reason is simple -- it just makes sense.
It’s hard for me to find a reason why anyone would want to get in the way of a bill that allows the parents of a disabled child the opportunity to save their own money for their child’s future and to give that child a shot at financial independence.  As a father, I know that a piece of the American Dream is what all of us want for our children.  As our inspiring witnesses will share with us today, this dream for themselves and for their children is no less powerful.
So, I hope Mr. Chairman that the ABLE Act does not get lost in the shuffle.  It’s unfortunate but in Washington we spend most of our time arguing over the issues that divide us.  For heaven’s sakes, let’s pass a bill that we all support, that we all know is sound public policy, and that we all believe will make a world of difference to families who are simply asking us for hope.  We’ve been working together in good faith with all stakeholders to improve and perfect this bill for 8 years, and its time has come.  Let’s pass the ABLE Act, and let’s do it now.
Also, Mr. Chairman, I just want to briefly welcome a fellow North Carolinian, Robert D'Amelio, to the hearing today.  Robert lives in Charlotte, and he and his wife, Christi, are the proud parents of three beautiful children:  Nicholas (18 years), Christopher (15 years) and Lindsey (10 years).  He volunteers his time with the Boy Scouts of America and is a leader in the autism community in Charlotte, as two of his three children are affected by autism. 
Bob, I just want to personally thank you and Christi for traveling up to Washington to testify today about the challenges your family has faced and will continue to face as a family affected by autism.  I know the hopes and fears we have for our children can be profound and intensely personal, so I admire your courage – and the courage of all of our witnesses -- in coming here to speak about your deepest hopes and fears publicly.  It will help Congress better understand your unique challenges, and I truly believe that public policy in this area will be better because of your testimony here today.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for allowing me the opportunity to speak.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 July 2014 12:32
U.S. Commerce Department Report Touts Value Of Government Data On Economy & Population PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Monday, 21 July 2014 09:49

RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - A new U.S. Commerce Department report says there is a big value to the American economy from an investment in data via the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Census Bureau.

"Fostering Innovation, Creating Jobs, Driving Better Decisions: The Value of Government Data" was released July 14.
In a blog about the report, Mark Doms, Under Secretary for Economic Affairs at Commerce, offered perspective. The blog read in part:
"These agencies inform us on how our $17 trillion economy is evolving and how our population (318 million and counting) is changing, data critical to our country.   Although “Big Data” is all the rage these days, the government has been in this  business for a long time: the first Decennial Census was in 1790, gathering information on close to four million people, a huge dataset for its day, and not too shabby by today’s standards as well. 
Just how valuable is the data we provide?   Our report seeks to answer this question by exploring the range of federal statistics and how they are applied in decision-making.   Examples of our data include gross domestic product, employment, consumer prices, corporate profits, retail sales, agricultural supply and demand, population, international trade and much more.
Clearly, as shown in the report, the value of this information to our society far exceeds its cost – and not just because the price tag is shockingly low: three cents, per person, per day.   Federal statistics guide trillions of dollars in annual investments at an average annual cost of $3.7 billion: just 0.02 percent of our $17 trillion dollar economy covers the massive amount of data collection, processing and dissemination.   With a statistical system that is comprehensive, consistent, confidential, relevant and accessible, the federal government is uniquely positioned to provide a wide range of statistics that complement the vast and growing sources of private sector data."
The entire blog, and the report, can be found at http://www.esa.doc.gov/Blog/2014/07/14/new-commerce-department-report-explores-huge-benefits-low-cost-government-data
Last Updated on Monday, 21 July 2014 09:58
U.S. House Approves Amendment To Limit D.C.'s Enforcement Of Local Gun Restrictions PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 17 July 2014 14:14

RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - If the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives prevails, District of Columbia officials will lose their power to enforce the district's very strict gun laws. 

House members approved an amendment that would make federal law the prevailing authority in the area and prevent local officials from spending money enforcing local law. 
The U.S. Senate must concur in order for the change to take effect. Democrats control the Senate, making concurrence unlikely. 
Last Updated on Thursday, 17 July 2014 14:14
National Taxpayer Advocate Identifies Priority Areas and Challenges In Mid-Year Report to Congress PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 16 July 2014 11:14

RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - Amid questions over the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of some groups seeking tax exempt status, National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson has identied priority issues the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) will address during the upcoming fiscal year. 

The report is mandated by Congress.
In it, Olson emphasizes the importance of taking concrete steps to give meaning to the recently adopted Taxpayer Bill of Rights, issuing refunds to victims of return preparer fraud, continuing to make improvements in the Exempt Organizations area and expanding the recently announced voluntary return preparer certification program to include competency testing. 
The report praises the IRS for implementing the Advocate’s longstanding recommendation to adopt a Taxpayer Bill of Rights. In addition, “the IRS ran a generally successful filing season (although taxpayer services were sub-optimal largely due to staffing limitations), instituted a more equitable approach to its Offshore Voluntary Disclosure initiative, and introduced a voluntary system for educating unenrolled return preparers,” Olson wrote in a preface to the report. “All this is generally good news. But as we note in the report, the good news also raises additional questions and concerns.”
The entire report can be found at 
Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 11:14

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