Published July 1982 — Download PDF of the original newspaper column
Byrd's-Eye View By U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd A Welcome Repeal The Senate and House of Representatives have both acted recently to repeal the special congressional tax break. That is fair and appropriate. The special tax deduction, attached to the black lung bill that was passed by Congress last December, was an ill-conceived notion in the first place. I voted against it originally. In fact, I forced two roll-call votes in the Senate on the congressional tax deduction to make certain that senators were clearly on record on the issue. I also became a cosponsor of legislation, back in January, to eliminate the special tax break. And I have voted several times since December to repeal it. In addition, I voted recently for a provision, which unfortunately was not approved, that would have required members of Congress to publicly disclose their income tax returns. Members of Congress should not expect special consideration from the Internal Revenue Service. According to IRS regulations written on the congressional tax deduction, the old $3,000 ceiling on deductions member of Congress could take on living expenses was replaced with provisions that substantially increased the amount of allowable deductions. A repeal of these special tax provisions will mean that members of Congress will return to the $3,000 ceiling. Americans have made it very clear that Congress should not be voting itself special favors from the IRS. I agree with them. The repeal of the special congressional tax break was a welcome action for many of us who have fought for months to eliminate that unfair provision.