Lawmakers abandon plans to fund spending by strengthening tax enforcement
A party negotiator said that Republican senators rejected a plan to increase tax enforcement by $40 billion to help pay for a bipartisan infrastructure package of $1 trillion.
Republican Senator Rob Portman from Ohio was one of the 22 members negotiating the agreement. He said on Sunday that after opposition from his fellow Republicans, his colleagues decided not to include Strengthen the proposal of the Internal Revenue Service.
Members of the bipartisan group continued to meet with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer over the weekend to discuss the details of their proposed bill. accepted A vote will be held within a few days to test support for the package.
Portman said on Sunday that Republican senators rejected the Democratic Party’s proposal to strengthen the Internal Revenue Service after discovering that US President Joe Biden planned to include similar measures in his budget bill later this year.
“One reason it is not part of the proposal is that we did encounter resistance,” Portman told CNN. “Another reason is that we found that the Democratic Party intends to include a proposal into the settlement plan, which is not only similar to our plan, but the IRS has a much stronger enforcement.”
Natasha Sarin, a senior Treasury official, defended plans to increase the IRS budget.Just hours after Portman made a comment She wrote on Twitter: “The IRS has fewer auditors than at any time since World War II. Not surprisingly, the tax gap causes the United States to lose 3% of its GDP every year, disproportionate to the unpaid fair share of dollars.”
Biden Announced last month The senators from both sides reached an agreement to spend approximately US$1 trillion on roads, bridges and broadband networks over the next eight years. The agreement was seen as a victory for the president, who prioritized infrastructure spending, but also promised to bring cross-party cooperation back to Washington.
However, since then, negotiators on both sides have been trying to translate the agreement into a legislative text that may pass both houses of Congress.
One of the key sticking points is how to pay for billions of dollars in additional expenditures.
The Democrats lobbied to substantially increase the budget of the IRS, which fell by 20% from 2010 to 2018. According to the Congressional Budget Office, Resulting in 22% of its employees being laid off.
These cuts have widened the tax gap in the United States.Ministry of Finance estimate Approximately $580 billion in taxes was unpaid in 2019, From From 2011 to 2013, about 400 billion U.S. dollars per year.
The CBO calculated that by spending an additional US$40 billion on taxes in 10 years, Congress could increase its revenue by US$100 billion. But these proposals have raised concerns among Republicans, who have long criticized the IRS.
Portman said last month: “We don’t want the IRS to over-involve small businesses and create undue burdens.”
On Sunday, Portman also rejected Schumer’s attempts to pressure the senators to reach an agreement in time for the test vote this week.The Republican senator said: “I am honest, Chuck Schumer is not drafting the bill. Nor is Mitch McConnell. [the Senate minority leader], Incidentally. So this is why we should not arbitrarily set a deadline for Wednesday. “