"Tax-related identity theft is a serious problem that is growing at epidemic proportions. According to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, about 2.4 million taxpayers' names or Social Security numbers were used to file fraudulent tax returns in 2013," said Ayotte. "That's a nearly tenfold increase since 2010. And with major data breaches occurring more frequently, I am concerned that we will see tax fraud affect even more taxpayers next year."
Ayotte Tours Great State Beverages in Hooksett, Discusses Efforts to Help NH Businesses Grow and Create Jobs
"I appreciated the opportunity to tour Great State Beverages in Hooksett and discuss my legislative efforts to create a better economic climate that will help companies like this one grow and provide jobs for hardworking Granite Staters,” said Senator Ayotte.
Ayotte has pushed the IRS to improve its policies and better help identity theft victims protect themselves and their personal information, and was instrumental in securing a commitment from Commissioner John Koskinen to provide identity theft victims with copies of fraudulent tax returns. Ayotte also helped introduce the Social Security Identity Defense Act of 2015, which would require the Internal Revenue Service to notify potential victims of identity theft, something the agency has failed to do in the past. It also requires that the IRS notify law enforcement and that the Social Security Administration notify employers who submit fraudulently used Social Security numbers. The bill adds civil penalties and extends jail time for those who fraudulently use an individual's Social Security number.
"North Country veterans know all too well how difficult it can be to just make it to an appointment," said Ayotte, Shaheen and Kuster. "That is why we will continue our efforts to ensure this program is implemented properly and that New Hampshire veterans are fully informed of their options when it comes to receiving health care through the Veterans Choice Card program."
"I can only imagine how difficult today must be for James' family, and I continue to pray for them to find strength and comfort. Today we remember James' tremendous courage and dedication to preserving and sharing the stories of those who had no voice of their own. We also recommit ourselves to finding those responsible for James' murder - we will not rest until they are brought to justice, and we must not relent in the fight against ISIS."
"Fighting the prescription opioid, heroin, and fentanyl crisis will require the exploration of various ideas and proposals, especially those related to treatment of individuals with a substance use disorder," Ayotte wrote. "Given the need to explore all potential avenues to fight the opioid epidemic in New Hampshire, and at the request of local officials, I respectfully request that you visit the Sununu Center and meet with the bipartisan delegation of state officials who are reviewing the best use of the Center's underutilized parts to help address mental health and substance use disorders."
"Fighting New Hampshire's growing heroin and prescription opioid abuse epidemics will take a coordinated effort among federal, state, and local partners, and today's announcement is welcome news for New Hampshire and other New England states that are confronting this crisis," Ayotte said. "The HIDTA program is a critical tool for enhancing regional collaboration, especially since heroin and fentanyl are trafficked across state lines. I'm particularly glad that the New England HIDTA will also be focusing funds on prevention efforts. We must take a multi-pronged approach in this fight, and prevention is a key part of that."
"Victims of identity theft face significant emotional and financial hardships, and they shouldn't be left in the dark about the extent of the theft. I'm holding this hearing so that Commissioner Koskinen and other federal officials can hear directly from Granite Staters and gain a better understanding of problems faced by victims of tax-related identity theft and other tax-related issues, with the goal of finding solutions to these problems at the federal level." said Ayotte.
Ayotte Calls on HHS to Work With New Hampshire to Ease Regulations on Substance Abuse Treatment Centers
In response to reports that some substance abuse treatment centers in New Hampshire are facing costly new requirements to obtain a health care facility license, U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) today urged Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell to work with the state to ease requirements. Recent reports indicate that these stringent licensing requirements could force several treatment facilities in New Hampshire to cut the number of available beds and reduce their ability to serve individuals dealing with substance abuse issues - a serious concern in light of the state's heroin and prescription drug addiction crisis.
Ayotte, Booker, Coons Bill Would Help Protect First Responders, Reduce Waste of Important Public Health Resources
"The Strategic National Stockpile serves an important public health and safety purpose as a reserve of medicine and medical supplies to be deployed in the event of a major public health emergency, such as a terrorist attack against our nation. Unfortunately, an estimated 4 million doses expire unused each year and are thrown away, when they could instead be used to better protect our first responders and help prepare them to respond to possible anthrax attacks."