As is its first official act following the contentious Speaker race, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Monday night with the help of Alabama's delegation to strip the IRS of new funding for 87,000 new agents.
Called the Family and Small Business Taxpayer Protection Act, the bill makes good on promises made by Republicans to reign in the IRS.
"[The House GOP] made a commitment to repeal President Biden's army of 87,000 IRS agents as soon as we took the majority, and tonight we made a huge step towards making that a reality," U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) said on Twitter following the vote.
.@HouseGOP made a commitment to repeal President Biden’s army of 87,000 IRS agents as soon as we took the majority, and tonight we made a huge step towards making that a reality. https://t.co/xLI2GM5M30— Gary Palmer (@USRepGaryPalmer) January 10, 2023
The funding for the 87,000 new agents, which is more than double the IRS' current workforce, comes from Inflation Reduction Act, passed last August and provides $45 billion to the IRS over the next decade. U.S. Rep. Dale Strong (R-Huntsville) said repealing the funding was a step in the right direction, and the IRS should focus on quality service for taxpayers rather than "targeting" them.
"I was proud to support this legislation – the first bill considered and passed by the House during the 118th Congress. Americans deserve a government that's accountable and works for the people, not against them," he said in a statement. "Repealing funding for 87,000 new IRS agents is a great first step in the right direction. I am glad to be hitting the ground running and working with my colleagues to pass legislation that is important to my constituents. The IRS should be focused on providing quality service to taxpayers, not targeting them."
U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl (R-Mobile) echoed those sentiments when he voted in favor of the bill.
"On day one of the 118th Congress, House Republicans are already fulfilling parts of our Commitment to America. Defunding the 87,000 IRS agents the Biden Administration is trying to unleash on families and small businesses across America is exactly what H.R. 23 accomplishes," Carl said. "Republicans want an IRS that works for taxpayers; Democrats want an IRS that works against them. Americans deserve a government that's accountable and one that works for them—not one that targets them, and that is why I voted in favor of this bill"
Every Democrat in the House voted against the bill, including U.S. Rep. Teri Sewell (D-Birmingham), who said it would allow rich people and big businesses to "cheat" on their taxes.
"When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time," she said in a tweet before the vote. "House Republicans' priorities are on full display tonight — Their very first bill would make it easier for wealthy tax cheats and giant corporations to avoid paying their fair share. I will be voting no!"
“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”— Rep. Terri A. Sewell (@RepTerriSewell) January 10, 2023
House Republicans’ priorities are on full display tonight — Their very first bill would make it easier for wealthy tax cheats and giant corporations to avoid paying their fair share.
I will be voting NO!
This victory for Republicans in the House will likely become symbolic as the bill has little chance of making it through a Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate or passing President Joe Biden's Desk.
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email [email protected].
Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.