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October 27, 2022
GOP lawmakers continue to signal that they will scrutinize the IRS’s funding and operational priorities should Republicans regain the House majority in the upcoming midterm elections.
This week, Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO), a candidate for the House Ways and Means Committee gavel if Republicans flip the house, brought up the nine-year-old scandal involving IRS targeting of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status in questioning the agency’s enforcement agenda.
In an op-ed in The Hill, Smith charged that congressional Democrats have forfeited congressional oversight of the IRS and recently provided the agency $80 billion in new funding through the Inflation Reduction Act signed into law this summer. Under that legislation, roughly half of the additional funding is earmarked for enforcement, while $25 billion will go toward operational support, nearly $5 billion will go toward upgrading technology and $3 billion will be used to enhance taxpayer services.
Despite assurances from the Biden administration that the IRS would not use its new funding authority to audit law-abiding taxpayers and families making less than $400,000, Scott said the agency is unchecked.
“A supercharged IRS that does not answer to Congress is dangerous,” Smith wrote. “Over the past two years we’ve seen the agency become increasingly unaccountable under President Biden’s rein…When Republicans earn back majorities in Congress, business as usual for the IRS will be over. We will return power to the American people and hold the IRS accountable…”
House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who is poised to become speaker if Republicans win back the House in the November elections, has said the first bill Republicans would advance in the House next year would repeal funding for hiring more Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees.