The newly Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed legislation to rescind the Inflation Reduction Act’s $72 billion funding for 87,000 new IRS agents on Monday in one of its first legislative moves.
House Resolution 23, also known as the Family and Small Business Taxpayer Protection Act, passed the House in a 221 to 210 vote along party lines. Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) was reportedly absent from the vote, as the RINO congressman also avoided voting on the GOP’s Rules Package on the same day.
Newly elected Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) had announced his intention to rescind funding for the new IRS agents during his first address as speaker early Saturday morning, saying that it would be one of the first bills the new Congress voted on.
McCarthy also discussed the bill in a post on Twitter.
“This was our very first act of the new Congress, because government should work for you, not against you,” he tweeted. “Promises made. Promises kept.”
House Resolution 23 was sponsored by Reps. Adrian Smith (R-NE) and Michelle Steel (R-CA). The bill will now head to the Democrat-controlled Senate, where it likely will not have the votes to pass.
The legislation specifies that any new money given to the IRS can only be spent on customer service and IT improvements, instead of hiring IRS agents, auditors or other staff members — whom Republicans argue will be used to target low-income and middle-class Americans rather than wealthy Americans or corporations.
Former speaker of the house, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), condemned the bill on Monday — calling it “shameful, but not surprising.”
In a statement issued after the vote, Pelosi wrote: “It is shameful, but not surprising, that House Republicans’ first order of business in this Congress is to protect corporate America and ultra-wealthy individuals who are illegally avoiding taxes.”
“Last summer, Democrats proudly enacted the Inflation Reduction Act: a strong step toward tax fairness that improved taxpayer services for families and bolstered resources to ensure the wealthiest few and greediest corporations will pay what they owe. Now, Republicans want to rip away these resources, which will drive up the deficit and let wealthy tax cheats off the hook,” Pelosi added, denouncing the new House majority as the “MAGA Majority in the House.”
Vice President Kamala Harris also attacked the Republicans’ bill in a statement released on Monday, claiming that “House Republicans are rushing to undo that progress and allow too many millionaires, billionaires, and corporations to cheat the system.”