Taxed At Every Turn

By U.S. Senator Deb Fischer Each year, April 15 serves as the dreaded deadline for all Americans to file their taxes. Nebraskans, especially small business owners, spend hours going through their records to fill out the necessary forms and meet the IRS’ seemingly endless reporting requirements. An estimate from the National Taxpayer Advocate last year indicates Americans collectively spend 6.1 billion hours and $168 billion on efforts to navigate our confusing tax code and file taxes. Hardworking Americans – including many who work two or three jobs to support their families – shouldn’t be expected to dedicate countless hours to comply with these burdensome requirements, or spend their money to hire expensive accountants. When the income tax was ratified in 1913, the entire tax code was 400 pages. Today’s code and related rules now total more than 7...

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Ditching Duplication

Nebraskans know there’s no shortage of waste and duplication within the federal government. Countless federal programs replicate existing, more effective programs at the state or local level. Yet, somehow these unnecessary programs, which are funded by taxpayer dollars and serve no useful purpose, continue to exist. What’s more, many departments and agencies use up federal dollars on overlapping expenses and fail to take advantage of easy opportunities for cost savings. It’s like Reagan once said, “Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this Earth.” Since 2011, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a report outlining specific areas of “fragmentation, overlap, and duplication in federal programs and activities.” These four reports have revealed 188 areas that meet ...

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Fischer, Johanns to Federal Agencies: Halt Scheme to Regulate Livestock Emissions

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Deb Fischer and Mike Johanns (R-Neb) and several of their Republican colleagues today called on the Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stop pursuing regulations on livestock emissions. If enacted, the new regulations could cost medium-sized dairy farms up to $22,000 and medium-sized cattle farms up to $27,000 annually. “Ag producers have a tremendous stock in maintaining a healthy environment—their livelihoods depend on it,” Johanns said. “These sorts of top-down regulations are not only absurd, but they create a tremendous burden for the industry. Agencies should work with Congress and the ag industry to develop manageable strategies to achieve our mutual goal of caring for our environment rather than trying to regulate them into oblivion.” “Before these agencies start dispensing fre...

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Fischer Introduces Bills to Reform CFPB

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) has introduced two bills offering structural reforms to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The Consumer Financial Protection Commission Act of 2014 (S. 2213) would replace the agency’s single director position with a five-member, bipartisan commission. Fischer’s second bill, The CFPB Improvement Act of 2014 (S. 2212), would change the requirement for the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s (FSOC) voting members to overturn CFPB regulations. “The CFPB has an enormous amount of influence impacting all sectors of our economy and every consumer nationwide. Decisions governing such a powerful agency should reflect input from all sides, rather than placing broad regulatory authority in the hands of a single unelected official with little oversight from Congress,” said Fischer. “Similarly, the approval process for regulations i...

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Fischer, Collins, Ayotte, Murkowski Offer Amendment to Help Address Gender Pay Discrimination

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), announced today that they have filed an amendment, No. 2963, to the Paycheck Fairness Act that updates the 51-year-old Equal Pay Act and helps address the pay gap between men and women. Their amendment includes a provision to prevent retaliation against employees who inquire about, or discuss, their salaries. It also reiterates current law banning sex discrimination and requiring employers to post a notice to employees as to their rights under both the 1963 Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The amendment consolidates existing duplicative job training programs and provides federal grants to states for the creation of industry-led partnerships aimed at getting workers underrepresented in particular industries the skills they need to compete. Provision details are below: Read More

Fischer, Johanns, Smith to Host 2014 Academy and Military Information Day

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. Deb Fischer and Mike Johanns and Rep. Adrian Smith announced today that their offices will be hosting the “2014 Academy and Military Information Day” on Saturday, April 19th. The event will be from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at Central Community College in Grand Island. Representatives from the U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy and Army ROTC will be on hand to answer questions and discuss the academy nomination process, as well as other military options. What: Academy and Military Information Day When: Saturday, April 19th, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Where: Central Community College in Grand I...

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