New GOP House speaker proposes aiding Israel with IRS funds meant to nab rich US tax cheats
House Republicans have a counterproposal to President Biden's request for military and humanitarian aid for Israel and Ukraine, and it's DOA
House Republicans on Monday proposed giving Israel $14.3 billion in emergency military aid, but their bill would pay for that aid “by cutting IRS funds aimed at cracking down on rich tax cheats and improving taxpayer service,” The Washington Post reported. The aid package is the first substantive legislation released under new House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.). And if it passes in the House, it stands no chance of making it through the Senate.
President Biden requested $14.3 billion to help Israel in its war against Hamas but he paired it with $61 billion in aid for Ukraine plus other $10 billion in humanitarian aid for Ukraine, Israel and Gaza. The Senate is following that approach of bundling the aid together in one package, with bipartisan support. The House GOP bill not only removes the Ukraine aid, it also attempts to take another bite out of the Inflation Reduction Act’s $80 billion for increased enforcement of tax laws among noncompliant wealthy individuals and companies, plus money for the IRS’s new free online tax filing service.
According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the $80 billion spent on IRS enforcement would reduce the deficit by nearly $200 billion. The White House said the House GOP’s latest attempt to “help the wealthy and big corporations cheat on their taxes” would grow the deficit. Mark Mazur, a former assistant treasury secretary, said the proposed cuts are “like if you take a dollar from the IRS and throw a $5 bill out the window.”
Johnson defended his “first draft of this bill” on Fox News, saying the priority of Democrats may be “to bulk up the IRS” but most Americans would “say standing with Israel and protecting the innocent over there is in our national interest and is a more immediate need than IRS agents.”