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Congressman Bobby Scott

Representing the 3rd District of Virginia

Bipartisan Hampton Roads Delegation Advocates for American Families Affected by Contaminated Chinese Drywall

April 26, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representatives Scott Rigell (VA-02), Bobby Scott (VA-03), Rob Wittman (VA-01), and Randy Forbes (VA-04) asked IRS Commissioner John Koskinen to assist American families affected by contaminated Chinese drywall.

Contaminated drywall has significantly impacted more than 3,700 homes across the country. In 2013, President Obama signed into law the Drywall Safety Act of 2012, legislation that was introduced by Rigell and quickly passed through Congress thanks to strong bipartisan cooperation across Virginia’s Congressional delegation. The legislation set chemical standards for domestic and imported drywall, established remediation guidelines for disposal of all drywall, and expressed a sense of Congress that China must be held accountable for the damage this product has already caused across America. However, many contaminated drywall victims continue to face significant financial hardship.

The joint letter states: “The damage has been devastating to many homeowners affected by the drywall. On top of mortgage payments, many residents have been forced to pay for rental homes due to the physical damage it has caused. Further, the damage has forced some homes below market value, leaving homeowners with no choice but to walk away from their mortgages. Many families are in financial ruin because of Chinese drywall. … We respectfully ask your agency to conduct a review to see if there are any services the IRS can provide, including tax deductions, to help those who unknowingly had the drywall in their homes.”

The full text of the letter is available here or below.

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April 26, 2016

The Honorable John Koskinen
Commissioner
Internal Revenue Service
1111 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20224-001

Dear Commissioner Koskinen:

The purpose of this letter is to discuss an important issue affecting many of our constituents. We respectfully request that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) help the victims of Chinese drywall.

As you may know, contaminated drywall has significantly affected more than 3,700 homes across the country. The drywall was manufactured in China and imported to the United States to be used in U.S. home construction from approximately 2004-2009. It contains toxic and semi-toxic substances which release harmful gasses into homes. These gasses have been linked to adverse health conditions and have damaged the plumbing and electrical systems of many homes, making them “unlivable.” The financial damage has also been devastating to many homeowners affected by the drywall. On top of mortgage payments, many residents have been forced to pay for rental homes due to the physical damage it has caused. Further, the damage has forced some homes below market value, leaving homeowners with no choice but to walk away from their mortgages. Many families are in financial ruin because of the Chinese drywall.

Fortunately, Congress passed and President Obama signed into law the Drywall Safety Act of 2012, which was an excellent first step in assisting the victims. This measure set chemical standards for domestic and imported drywall, established remediation guidelines for disposal of all drywall, and expressed a sense of Congress that China must be held accountable for the damage this product has already caused across America. However, despite this effort, our constituents are still being significantly affected financially by the drywall.

It is for these reasons that we respectfully ask your agency to conduct a review to see if there are any services the IRS can provide, including tax deductions, to help those who have unfortunately had the drywall in their homes. Thank you for your time and attention to our request.

Sincerely,

______________________________
Scott Rigell
Member of Congress

______________________________
Robert C. “Bobby” Scott
Member of Congress

______________________________
Robert J. Wittman
Member of Congress

______________________________
J. Randy Forbes
Member of Congress

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Issues: