GOP Bill Says That The IRS Can’t Spend Its $80 Billion Without Permission From Congress

Two Republican senators are working on legislation that would allow Congress to reject IRS plans to spend $80 billion over the next ten years on new staff, which the GOP worries will be used to audit millions of Americans.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, claims the bill he and Sen. Jon Thune, R-South Dakota, are working on is necessary because the Democrat-led Congress provided the IRS with billions of dollars to increase its workforce with “no supervision” requirements. Without a single Republican vote, Congress enacted the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) this year, which included the funding.

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According to Grassley, “Our bill will make sure that the IRS is accountable to the American people in how it utilises this money and will force it to forfeit cash every day it’s not in compliance.”

The IRS under the Biden administration would have to answer to the American people, not Washington bureaucrats, if Thune’s bill is passed into law.

Their proposed legislation would require the IRS to inform Congress annually about how it plans to utilise the funds, and any such plan would be subject to a resolution of disapproval in Congress. Additionally, it would mandate that the IRS and Department of Treasury submit quarterly reports on the strategy in an effort to make it simpler to detect financial mismanagement or potential violations of taxpayer rights.

According to a summary of the legislation, “failure to submit timely and comprehensive plans or reports would result in financial penalties, including IRA money being revoked on a daily basis until the IRS complies with the reporting requirements.”

In addition to Grassley’s membership on the House-Senate Joint Committee on Taxation, both senators are members of the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over tax-related issues. Grassley is a member of the subcommittee on Taxation and IRS Oversight, which Thune chairs as the top Republican.

When Congress reconvenes this month following the midterm elections, the senators said they would propose the bill.

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Republicans claim that with the cash Congress approved, up to 87,000 additional IRS agents may be hired, accusing Democrats of assisting the IRS in hiring an army of officers. The Treasury Department calculated how many new employees it could hire with $80 billion in 2021 to get at that figure.

They won’t all be auditors or agents. The IRS started the hiring process over the summer by looking for someone to take calls from taxpayers. To assist with planning for the 2023 tax season, the IRS hired 4,000 additional customer support agents in late October.

However, Republicans have stated that if they take back control of Congress in the November elections, they will impose strict scrutiny of the IRS and its new financing source.

Vern Buchanan of Florida, Jason Smith of Missouri, and Adrian Smith of Nebraska are the three Republicans vying to chair the House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees tax policy. They promise to quickly apply their new oversight authority over the organization.

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