By RAELYNN RICARTE
THE CENTER SQUARE
(The Center Square) – Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, joined other GOP leaders in passing the first bill of the 118th Congress that blocks the Biden administration from hiring 87,000 new IRS agents.
Ms. McMorris Rodgers said House Resolution 23, titled the Family and Small Business Taxpayer Protection Act, seeks to stop the IRS from “going after” families across the nation.
“At a time when the price of everything from gas to groceries is sky high, the last thing Eastern Washington families need is to be squeezed by the IRS for every last penny, but that’s what President Biden and Democrats planned when they passed an $80 billion, 600% increase to the IRS budget last year,” she said in a written statement.
Ms. McMorris Rodgers, who represents the Fifth Congressional District, said the passage of HR 23 marks the first promise kept in the Republicans’ Committee to America plan.
“We are just getting started,” she said. “It’s the end of one-party rule in our nation’s capital, and a new day for hardworking families,” she said.
Ms. McMorris Rodgers pointed to a Congressional Budget Office report that Democrats’ “supercharged” IRS will cause audit rates to rise for all taxpayers. She said a conservative analysis shows that returning audit rates to 2010 levels would mean 1.2 million more audits with more than 700,000 of affected taxpayers making $75,000 per year or less.
HR 23 not only rescinds all new IRS funding but enhances the services Americans expect to receive from their government, she said.
According to Ms. McMorris Rodgers, Republicans in Congress led major reforms at the IRS with the bipartisan Taxpayer First Act and signed it into law in 2019. She and other GOP leaders contend Democrats have abandoned those reforms, opting to supercharge the IRS with the infusion of billions on top of a $12 billion annual budget.
“Republicans want an IRS that works for taxpayers; Democrats want an IRS that works against them,” states a summary of HR 23 released by the House Ways & Means Committee.
“Republicans fought for guardrails to protect middle and lower-income taxpayers from increased audit scrutiny – Democrats rejected these protections.”
House GOP leaders contend that Democrats have long used the IRS and the tax code as a political weapon, so hiring more agents will return abuses of the past. Specifically mentioned in summary is the targeting of Tea Party activists and conservative groups during the Obama Administration.
“Americans deserve a government that’s accountable and one that works FOR them, not AGAINST them,” concludes the Ways & Means summary.