GOP Study Committee Chairman’s Proposal Would Rescind Biden’s 87,000 New IRS Agents

GOP Study Committee Chairman’s Proposal Would Rescind Biden’s 87,000 New IRS Agents
Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) speaks at a press conference following a Republican caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol, in Washington, on June 8, 2022. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
Mark Tapscott

More than $80 billion for President Joe Biden’s plan to double the size of the IRS workforce by adding 87,000 new agents would be rescinded by a proposal introduced on Sept. 26 by Republican Study Committee (RSC) Chair Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana.

The $80 billion was included in the recently enacted $739 billion Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

“The Inflation Reduction Act would hit Americans with billions in new taxes and subject them to pointless and invasive IRS audits. My bill would use the $80 billion that Joe Biden is sending to the IRS to partially offset a tax break for working Americans,” Banks said in a statement.

“Democrats are treating hardworking taxpayers as suspected tax cheats and squeezing them dry to pay for their radical agenda, while House Republicans are trying to lower inflation by easing Americans’ tax burden,” he said.

The tax break mentioned by Banks is included in his “Defunding the IRS Army Act” a provision that would boost the standard deduction in former President Donald Trump’s 2019 tax cut and make the new deduction permanent.

The increased standard deductions would be $14,025 for individual taxpayers beginning in fiscal year (FY) 2023, $21,060 for returns filed by heads of households in 2023, and $28,050 for families, also beginning in 2023.

In addition to making the increased deductions permanent, the Banks proposal would index the revised numbers to counter the effects of inflation.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told reporters on Sept. 23 at the introduction of the House Republicans’ “Commitment to America” agenda that “on our very first bill, we’re going to repeal 87,000 IRS agents.”

Biden promised that the main purpose of hiring the new IRS agents was to strengthen the federal tax agency’s resources for auditing tax returns filed by individuals with $400,000 or more in annual income. Doing so would result in the federal government collecting an estimated $124 billion in additional revenue, according to official estimates.

But Republicans in the Senate and House opposed the proposal as soon as it was announced by Biden, claiming that doubling the IRS workforce would inevitably lead to millions more audits of middle- and lower-middle-income taxpayers. No Republican in either the Senate or the House voted in favor of Biden’s IRA proposal.

A report issued by the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that more than half of the projected $124 billion would be generated by audits of tax returns reporting $50,000 or less in annual income.

The Banks proposal comes as the 2022 midterm election campaigns are shifting into high gear with only six weeks left before voters go to the polls on Nov. 8. Polling shows Republicans are expected to regain the majority in the House they lost in 2018, but which party will have control of the Senate after the election remains very much up in the air. The Senate is currently split 50-50 with Vice President Kamala Harris casting tie-breaking votes. Democrats have a razor-thin seven-vote majority in the House.

The Banks proposal also comes amid the worst inflation the nation has experienced since 1981, with the most recent figure at an annual rate of 8.3 percent. As previously reported by The Epoch Times, an analysis released on Sept. 22 by the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis estimated that Americans on average have suffered $4,200 in reduced income and buying power as a result of the inflation.

The foundation said its experts calculated this “shocking” figure by looking at various sets of data, including consumer prices and the Federal Reserve’s interest rate moves.

Consumer prices have risen 12.7 percent since January 2021, much faster than wages, which the Heritage analysts say has cost the average American worker $3,000 in annual purchasing power.

“We are in a vicious spiral, but it’s one of Joe Biden, the Democrat-controlled Congress, and the Fed’s own making,” Heritage senior analyst E.J. Antoni told The Epoch Times.

Mark Tapscott is an award-winning senior Congressional correspondent for The Epoch Times. He covers Congress, national politics, and policy. Mr. Tapscott previously worked for Washington Times, Washington Examiner, Montgomery Journal, and Daily Caller News Foundation.
Related Topics