House bill rescinding $71B for 87k IRS agents stalled in Senate after nearly 4 weeks without vote

In a recent poll, a solid majority of respondents supported the House-passed bill that strips the IRS funding from the Democrats' $740 billion Inflation Reduction Act.

Published: February 3, 2023 4:17pm

Updated: February 3, 2023 11:11pm

A House-passed bill rescinding $71.5 billion for the hiring of up to 87,000 IRS agents has languished in the Democrat-led Senate for nearly four weeks without a vote. 

The funding was part of the $740 billion Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) that Democrats passed last year.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy pledged to schedule a vote to eliminate the funding as his first order of business in the new, Republican-led House. The GOP bill passed along party lines on Jan. 9.

Republicans have argued the funding could be used to target Americans earning less than $400,000 per year with additional audits. In response to the criticism, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen wrote to the IRS instructing the agency not to use additional resources to target individuals or families in that category. 

"Instead, new funding will crack down on tax evaders among the wealthy and large corporations, invest in technology upgrades that help taxpayers, and hire more customer support staff to prevent backlogs," the Treasury Department said in a statement in August. 

Ahead of the Inflation Reduction Act's passage on a party-line vote using budget reconciliation, Democrats defended the roughly $70 billion expenditure for the IRS as a revenue enhancement measure that would help pay for the legislation.

In a Rasmussen Reports poll published on Jan. 17, a solid majority of likely voters queried (56%) supported the House-passed bill that strips the IRS funding from the Inflation Reduction Act.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has criticized the GOP bill, signaling that it will not get a vote any time soon in the Democrat-controlled chamber.

"It is well known that too many wealthy individuals and large corporations — through gaping loopholes — don't pay their fair share of taxes while average Americans often pay a much higher percent," the New York Democrat said after the bill passed in the House. "The thousands of increased IRS personnel are aimed at closing those loopholes and forcing the wealthy and well-connected to finally pay their fair share. It is incredible that the first move House Republicans make this Congress is to cut these agents and allow large corporations and wealthy individuals to continue to avoid paying their fair share of taxes."

Schumer compared the bill's passage to the 2017 tax reform law enacted under former President Trump and a GOP-led Congress. 

"Just as they failed in 2017, when Republicans cut taxes on the rich and tried to scare the middle class, this won't work either," he said.

The GOP tax reform cut income tax rates across-the-board and lowered the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%.

The Inflation Reduction Act included a 15% minimum corporate tax rate.

Just the News asked Schumer's office on Friday if he plans to vote on the House-passed IRS bill at some point but did not receive a response before publication. 

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