House Democrats reject GOP amendment to prevent hiring of 87,000 new IRS agents

Congressional Budget Office has confirmed about $20 billion will be collected from Americans earning less than $400,000 per year under the Democrats' $740B spending bill, according to House Republican Whip Steve Scalise.

Published: August 12, 2022 11:51am

Updated: August 12, 2022 5:08pm

House Democrats blocked a GOP amendment to their $740 billion Inflation Reduction Act on Friday that would prevent the IRS from hiring up to 87,000 new agents with $80 billion of funding.

In total, 219 Democrats blocked consideration of Nebraska Republican Rep. Adrian Smith's amendment to "prevent the hiring of 87,000 new IRS agents who will undoubtedly audit more Americans," according to a spokesperson for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. "Instead of snooping on the bank accounts of Americans, the IRS should be focused on reducing the backlog of more than 21 million tax returns still pending."

The $80 billion of IRS funding will lead to more audits of those earning under $400,000, according to a Heritage Foundation budget and economics expert.

"Auditing every single taxpayer with annual income over $1 million would require only 25,000 new IRS enforcement agents, but Democrats' bill calls for 87,000 new agents," wrote Rachel Greszler, research fellow in economics, budget, and entitlements at the conservative Heritage Foundation. "What will all those extra agents be doing? Despite the Biden administration's claims, it's almost certain that households making less than $400,000 a year would face increased audits under Democrats' bill."

The IRS has said the new agents the bill funds won't target anyone making under $400,000 per year, but a Republican amendment to codify that in the actual language of the bill was rejected by Democrats during the Senate debate on the bill. 

The nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation released an analysis concluding that between 78% and 90% of the additional $200 billion that the IRS will collect with its additional agents will come from small businesses taking in under $200,000 annually.

"There's no way this amount of agents and taxpayer dollars will be used just on those making more than $400,000," said a spokesperson for the Heritage Foundation. "The math just doesn't add up."

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise said on Friday that Democrats are quickly passing the bill before a full CBO score because they don't want the public to know what's inside the final bill before the vote.

"It doesn't even have a review from the Congressional Budget Office," Scalise said on the House floor. 

The CBO confirmed on Friday that about $20 billion will be collected under the bill through new audits of Americans earning less than $400,000 per year, according to Scalise.

"So President Biden, who made that promise multiple times if you make under $400,000, don't worry, your taxes don't go up, this bill breaks President Biden's promise," Scalise said. "It's confirmed by the CBO, and there was an amendment to stop it from happening, and every Democrat voted against it."

The Democrat-led House is scheduled to vote on the bill Friday. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters on Friday ahead of the vote that the bill is going to pass. House Majority Whip James Clyburn said that November's midterm elections will come down to whether the legislation stays under a Democratic majority or gets repealed under a GOP-led Congress.

The Facts Inside Our Reporter's Notebook

Unlock unlimited access

  • No Ads Within Stories
  • No Autoplay Videos
  • VIP access to exclusive Just the News newsmaker events hosted by John Solomon and his team.
  • Support the investigative reporting and honest news presentation you've come to enjoy from Just the News.
  • Just the News Spotlight

    Support Just the News