The House and Senate are taking opposite views of appropriate funding for the IRS in 2015. (JIM WATSON / AFP/Getty Images)
The House doubled down on cutting the IRS budget, passing legislation July 16 that would cut nearly $1.5 billion from its budget for fiscal 2015.
The House Appropriations Committee had originally crafted a bill that would reduce the IRS budget by $341 million, but the full House approved amendments that cut a further $1.1 billion. That would push IRS funding down from about $10.4 billion in fiscal 2014 to around $9.8 billion next year.
The budget cuts would devastate the agency and hurt the government’s ability to collect taxes and enforce tax law, according to Colleen Kelley, the president of the National Treasury Employees Union.
“House members are playing politics where principle should prevail,” Kelley said in a statement. “It is beyond me how elected officials can so easily ignore the serious impacts on their own constituents of their efforts to starve the IRS.”
The administration has already threatened to veto the legislation, saying in a statement July 14 it would harm the IRS’s tax collection efforts and in overseeing the tax implications of the Affordable Care Act.
The Senate Appropriations Committee subcommittee on financial services passed legislation fundamentally different from the House-passed legislation on June 24 to boost IRS funding.
The bill provides $11.5 billion for the agency — $236 million more than it received in 2014 — but $950 million less than what the agency requested. The funding will help the agency boost its tax collection and pursue tax evaders, according to the subcommittee.