Here’s some change we can all believe in — an appropriations bill that slices federal funding to the IRS.
Passing the House yesterday, the bill trims the IRS’ 2017 budget by $236 million and provides a total budget that’s $2.7 billion below the budget President Obama requested.
Ryan Ellis explains at Forbes:
Basically, this backs out the one-time spending approved last year to fight identity theft and continues a hard budget freeze at the agency.
Keeping spending at this level means that the IRS will have to prioritize their resources away from things like Obamacare implementation and harassing ordinary families and small businesses. The IRS will still have plenty of money to go after actual criminals and tax cheats, but hopefully not enough money for fishing expeditions elsewhere.
The bill also imposes several restrictions on our tax collecting overlords:
There are also several important policy riders attached to this bill which will help constrain the IRS from any more Lois Lerner-type inappropriate political activities. These include:
- Prohibiting the IRS from finalizing regulations regarding the tax-exempt status of 501(c)(4) groups. The fear here is that these rules will be used to unfairly target conservative non-profits
- Prohibiting bonuses and awards to IRS employees unless conduct and tax compliance is given consideration
- Prohibiting the IRS from targeting organizations for their political beliefs and citizens for exercising their First Amendment rights
- Prohibiting funds for inappropriate videos and conferences (anyone remember the Star Trek video?)
- Prohibiting the White House from directing an IRS investigation of an organization
- Prohibiting the transfer of funds to the IRS for Obamacare implementation
- Prohibiting funds to implement Obamacare’s individual mandate
- Prohibiting the IRS from auditing a church
Shortly after the bill was introduced last month, President Veto threatened, well, to veto. The Washington Examiner wrote:
President Obama would veto a Republican spending bill that would cut funding for the IRS and financial agencies, as well as overhaul the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the White House said Tuesday.
The Office of Management and Budget issued the veto threat for the House financial services appropriations bill Tuesday evening as it worked its way toward the House floor.
The bill would “exacerbate the damaging reductions inflicted on the IRS since 2010, and irresponsibly cut funding for the agencies charged with implementing Wall Street reform,” the White House warned.
It also decried the “problematic ideological” riders attached to the spending bill, including the changes to the consumer bureau that would bring the agency further within Congress’ oversight.
“But we won’t get to further regulate the private sector, waste tax-payer dollars, and unfairly target private citizens!”
Boo freaking hoo.
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