Vulnerable House Democrats defend vote on Cut Inflation and IRS Expansion Act


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Two House Democrats facing tough re-election bids champion expansion of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that was included in the Sen. Joe Manchin-backed Inflation Reduction Act, which does little to immediately combat inflation.

The two vulnerable Democratic congressmen, Rep. Katie Porter of California and Rep. Cindy Axne of Iowa, defend the Cut Inflation Act and their votes in favor of the measure that will award $80 billion boost to the IRS over a 10-year period, with more than half of the funds going to help the agency fight tax evasion.

Billions of dollars for the IRS from the measure, which was signed into law by President Biden on Tuesday, will be used to fill 87,000 IRS positions, more than double the current size of the agency.

“We are investing in the IRS because right now $160 billion in taxes is not being earned in the coffers of our country, which would help you all with our schools, our roads, our health care and all the important things that this the country needs because we don’t have enough IRS auditors to solve the problems we face,” said Axne, who has served in Congress since 2018. said at a recent event set up by the Des Moines Register.


Democratic Representatives Cindy Axne of Iowa, left, and Katie Porter of California.

Democratic Representatives Cindy Axne of Iowa, left, and Katie Porter of California.
(Eric Lee/Bloomberg, Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

“So what happens is that people like Gary” – referring to someone in the audience – “will have a better chance of being audited, you know, than Elon Musk,” Axne added. . “And so, we have to make sure that we address this across the country, so I voted for this bill.”

Similarly, Porter, who has represented California’s 45th congressional district in the House since 2019, insisted during a recent appearance on MSNBC that Americans “would like to have” more agents within the IRS and that “the impact of the bill reduces costs for American families in the short term”.

Porter said the GOP’s claim that additional IRS agents would target Americans earning less than $75,000 a year is a “malarkey charge” and “just plain untrue.”

“I get phone calls every day from my constituents and colleagues across the country, asking for help from unresponsive federal agencies, from which they are waiting for answers,” Porter said. “The number one agency that Americans would like to have — to have more agents, to be more helpful, to pick up the phone, to develop better technology, to be more responsive — is the IRS.”


The dome of the United States Capitol is illuminated by the morning sun.

The dome of the United States Capitol is illuminated by the morning sun.
(Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc)

“This is an investment to allow the IRS to modernize and prepare for the wave of early retirements of customer service agents that we are already facing,” Porter added. “The audit is focused on big business and that’s exactly why you hear Republicans beholden to big business trying to weaken and attack that element.”

Axne and Porter, who advanced from their Democratic primary elections in June, will face Republican opponents in the November general election for their states. Axne is challenged by former Iowa State House Republican Rep. Zach Nunn, while Porter faces a challenge from Republican Liberty University graduate Scott Baugh.

Prior to the adoption of the measure by the House, Senate Democrats projected that improved IRS funding could add an additional $124 billion in federal revenue over the next decade by hiring more tax enforcement officers who can crack down on wealthy individuals and businesses that try to evade taxes.

The Federal Internal Revenue Service building in Washington, DC

The Federal Internal Revenue Service building in Washington, DC


However, Republicans have warned that the bill would fund an “army” of IRS agents to crack down on small business owners and low-income workers. Americans earning less than $75,000 a year set to receive 60% of expected additional tax audits as part of the Democrats’ spending programaccording to an analysis published by House Republicans.

Republican House analysis showed that people with annual incomes of $75,000 or less would be subject to 710,863 additional IRS checks, while those earning more than $1 million would receive 52,295 additional checks under the bill .

Overall, the IRS would perform more than 1.2 million additional annual audits of Americans’ tax returns, according to the analysis. Of the estimated additional audits, another 236,685 would target people with annual incomes between $75,000 and $200,000.

Fox News’ Jessica Chasmar contributed to this report.

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