House Passes Bill to Rescind Over $70 Billion in IRS Funding

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The House of Representatives voted late Monday to rescind over $70 billion to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the first bill under the 118th Congress. It now goes to the Democrat-controlled Senate, where it has little chance of progress amid additional opposition from the White House.

The Family and Small Business Taxpayer Protection Act passed on party lines with a 221-210 vote.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Adrian Smith (R-Neb.) and Rep. Michelle Steel (R-Calif.), fulfills a key campaign promise by newly-elected House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and House Republicans. McCarthy had announced in September 2022 that the first bill would be to repeal new IRS funding.

“House Republicans just voted unanimously to repeal the Democrats’ army of 87,000 IRS agents,” McCarthy said in a statement late Monday. “This was our very first act of the new Congress, because government should work for you, not against you. Promises made. Promises kept.”

The funding to the IRS was part of the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) that Democrat President Joe Biden signed into law in August 2022. A provision in the spending packing gives nearly $80 billion in funding to the tax agency over the next 10 years.

The latest bill pushed by Republicans would leave in place funding for customer service and IT service enhancements but would rescind funding used to carry out new audits on Americans and funding to increase the size of the IRS.

Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) on Twitter commented on the bill, saying: “We need more customer service capabilities for the IRS, not four Army divisions (87,000) worth of auditors whose primary targets will be small businesses.”

But Vice President Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) opposed the bill and signaled that Biden would not support the measure.

“For decades, some of our nation’s wealthiest individuals and richest corporations have failed to pay what they owe in taxes. Last year, President Joe Biden and I worked with Democrats in Congress to finally make sure everyone pays their fair share to help fund our schools, hospitals, military, and other critical priorities,” Harris said in a statement posted by the White House.

“Now, as one of their first acts in the majority, House Republicans are rushing to undo that progress and allow too many millionaires, billionaires, and corporations to cheat the system.”

By Mimi Nguyen Ly

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