Republicans Look to Cut Billions from IRS Budget Following Denied Budget Increase Request
Republicans are pushing to cut 3 billion dollars from the IRS's budget for the inappropriate actions of targeting political groups, most of which were conservative groups. If the bill passes it will also place more restrictions on spending at the Internal Revenue Service and prohibit employees from implementing the individual mandate in ObamaCare.
In a bill released by House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) for fiscal 2014 spending, 9 billion dollars would be allocated for the IRS. This is 4 billion below President Obama's request and more than 3 billion less than what they pushed for last year. In fiscal 2013 the IRS recieved 12 billion dollars.
With all the scandals and controversy surrounding the Internal Revenue Service the past two months, it's hard to believe the group would have asked for more funding. But a few weeks ago, the Acting Head of the IRS Daniel Werfel did just that, asking Congress for a budget increase of more than one billion dollars.
Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) addressed Daniel Werfel during a meeting of the House Ways & Means Committee.
"I see that there is a case being made for a budget increase. Your budget asks for over a billion dollars in more spending for your agency. And you’re asking us to hire another 4,572 employees," said Ryan, who continued: "Let me read you what we’ve already learned in just two months. In just two months, we’ve got a conference in Atlanta, which had celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck cater, costing $2.4 million. We’ve got a conference in Anaheim, California—$4.1 million. A conference in Philadelphia, $2.9 million. A conference in San Diego, $4.1 million. At one of these conferences, you had $135,000 for 15 people."
After reading a long list of ways the IRS has spent American tax payer money, Ryan recommended that Werfel return "in a year or two" to decide if the organization is being run well before deciding to increase its budget.
Werfel responded by saying, "That’s a fair point. I will say this: There’s more cuts to be made, and I think in this report, in section three and in subsequent testimony that I will give to this committee, I will furnish for you additional cuts so we can go even deeper so that every penny is watched even more closely."
Ryan retorted, "Great. So it sounds like you don’t need a budget increase."