The first “policy” vote of the new Republican-controlled House of Representatives continued with their theme of capitulation to the extreme right, and more pointedly the people who fund the political careers of the far right. They voted along party lines, 221 to 210, to rescind the more than $70 billion in IRS funding included in the Inflation Reduction Act to help the agency modernize and more effectively do its job.
The Congressional Budget Office scored the bill, and determined that if that $70 billion was rescinded for real (it won’t be, the Senate won’t do it), it would decrease federal revenue by more than double that amount—$186 billion. That’s $186 billion in lost revenue FOR the nation’s coffers between now and 2032. That means it would actually cost the nation more than $114 billion in the next decade.
Yes, the party of fiscal responsibility.
The White House issued its first (of what promises to be many) veto threat over this bill, based on that CBO score and the fact that it’s entirely rich people the GOP is protecting here, even though they call this bill the “Family and Small Business Taxpayer Protection Act.” The White House’s Office of Management and Budget pointed out in the veto advisory that “the Treasury Secretary has already directed that none of the additional IRS resources be used to increase audit rates relative to historical levels for small businesses or households with incomes below $400,000.”
“Far from protecting middle-class families or small businesses, H.R. 23 protects wealthy tax cheats at the expense of honest, middle-class taxpayers,” the OMB statement reads. “Each year the top one percent hides about 20 percent of their income from the government so they can get away with not paying any tax on it. That means that working people—who report 99 percent of their income to the IRS—pay a larger share of collected taxes than they should.”
“If the President were presented with H.R. 23—or any other bill that enables the wealthiest Americans and largest corporations to cheat on their taxes, while honest and hard-working Americans are left to pay the tab—he would veto it,” it added.
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