The GOP-led House of Representatives has voted to rescind billions of dollars in funding for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that was approved in the Democrats’ so-called “Inflation Reduction Act.”
Lawmakers voted to rescind more than $70 billion in funding to the IRS on Monday night, in the first significant move under Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) leadership.
The move fulfills McCarthy’s promise to prevent the agency from hiring tens of thousands of new agents and conducting new audits on Americans.
The bill is dubbed the “Family and Small Business Taxpayer Protection Act” and is sponsored by Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE) and Rep. Michelle Steel (R-CA).
The bill passed the House of Representatives in a 221-210 vote.
The legislation will roll back the billions of dollars of funding for the IRS approved in the Inflation Reduction Act last year.
However, it leaves in place funding for customer service and improvements to IT services.
The bill rescinds any funding that could be used to conduct new audits on Americans and funding that would double the agency’s current size.
The Inflation Reduction Act granted an $80 billion boost to the IRS over a 10-year period.
More than half of those funds were approved with the intention of helping the agency to crack down on tax evasion.
The funding would have gone toward filling 87,000 IRS positions.
“The last thing the American people need right now are more audits from an out-of-control, bloated IRS,” Smith said on Monday ahead of the vote.
“The Inflation Act funding for IRS would lead to the hiring of 87,000 new IRS employees tasked with raising enough revenue to pay for Democrats’ Green New Deal priorities.”
Smith called it “unacceptable.”
“Our bill leaves in place funding for customer service and IT improvements because IRS is in desperate need of reform, but it protects middle-class families from audits they cannot afford,” Smith said.
The Congressional Budget Office released a score Monday for the bill.
The agency said that, on net, it would increase the debt by $114 billion over a decade, which Democrats brought up during debate before the vote.
“Congressional Democrats and the Biden administration have made clear that up to 90% of their new audits will target middle-class families and small businesses,” said a spokesperson for Smith’s office regarding the CBO score.
“This score again demonstrates the extent to which they are plundering working-class Americans in order to hand billions of dollars out to profitable businesses to buy electric trucks for their fleets, fuel for their airplanes, and install large-scale wind and solar across America’s landscapes.”
The vote came just days after McCarthy secured the House speakership — after an intense 15-round vote battle.
Just days before the midterm elections, McCarthy vowed that, if he became speaker of the House, protecting Americans from the IRS would be his first order of business.
“On the very first day, we’ll repeal the 87,000 new IRS agents because we think the government should be there to help you, not to go after you,” McCarthy said.