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WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), ranking member of the Subcommittee on Taxation and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Oversight, today questioned IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel at a Senate Finance Committee hearing on the IRS’s fiscal year 2024 budget request. Thune pressed Werfel on the IRS’s disproportionate funding toward enforcement activities compared to taxpayer services, as well as the agency’s priority to advance Green New Deal-style energy policies. Thune also discussed his IRS Funding Accountability Act, legislation that would give Congress a direct say in how the unprecedented $80 billion in new funding could be spent, hold the IRS more accountable, and provide greater transparency.
Thune previously questioned then-nominee Werfel at a hearing earlier this year where he criticized the IRS for ignoring the six-month deadline to provide a detailed report on how the agency intends to use the new funding that Democrats provided the agency last August under the guise of “inflation reduction.”
On the IRS’s misguided priorities (excerpts):
“The funding priorities in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the president's budget show very different priorities. For example, of the $80 billion provided to the IRS and the partisan IRA, more than half, or about $46 billion, is directed toward enforcement activities and only 4 percent of the $80 billion […] was earmarked for improving taxpayer services. And President Biden recently proposed boosting the IRS budget by 15 percent, over and above the massive funding increase the IRS received from the Inflation Reduction Act. The president's budget would provide a separate, additional $29 billion to the IRS for enforcement, again, in addition to the $46 billion for enforcement the IRS received last August.”
“I am deeply concerned that the IRS has made more IRA funds committed to promoting the administration's radical energy agenda than for improving taxpayer services. […] I'm working with Senator Grassley on an IRS Funding Accountability Act, which hopefully will bring some transparency and accountability to this massive infusion of dollars and resources and employees the IRS now has, and I just really urge you to reconsider your priorities.”