(The Center Square) – President Joe Biden sparked controversy for pushing through Congress increased federal funding for 87,000 new IRS employees to audit Americans, but Republican leadership has pledged to overturn that expansion if they win the majority.
House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., pledged at a Pennsylvania event to “repeal” the IRS expansion.
“But on that very first day that we’re sworn in, you’ll see that it all changes because on our very first bill, we’re going to repeal 87,000 IRS agents,” he said to applause. “Our job is to work for you, not go after you. Our job is to make America strong. We believe America is more than a country. America is an idea.”
The IRS expansion came through the Inflation Reduction Act passed earlier this year, which allotted $80 billion to hire the fleet of IRS auditors. The Biden administration argued that the revenue earned through the new audits would more than pay for the funding for hiring.
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., made a similar statement.
“You know, all of my years in Congress, I have never had a single phone call from anybody saying, ‘Steve, please add more people to the IRS,’” he said. “If there’s 87,000 people needed in America, it’s at the border … not over at the IRS to go after small businesses and hard-working families.”
Recent polling also showed that many Americans are concerned the IRS has become too politicized.
Convention of States Action, along with the Trafalgar group, released a poll in August that found “52.1 percent of voters say that the new 87,000 IRS employees, approved by President [Joe] Biden’s legislation will be used to audit middle-class Americans, low-income earners, and small businesses; or to target the political opponents of those in power.”
Former IRS head Lois Lerner came under fire during the Obama administration for targeting conservative groups. Now, Americans fear that same kind of targeting could happen again.
In a different case last year, as The Center Square previously reported, the IRS rejected a nonprofit group’s 501(c)(3) status application, saying in a ruling that the Christian group applying for the status failed to qualify for tax-exempt status because “bible teachings are typically affiliated with the [Republican] party and candidates.”
The IRS later rescinded its decision after heavy criticism.