The Internal Revenue Service will review the security of of its facilities nationwide as congressional Republicans and far-right extremists lash out at the agency and its workers, the Washington Post reported.
“Our workforce is concerned about their safety,” IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig said in an interview. “The comments being made are extremely disrespectful to the agency, to the employees and to the country.”
In a letter to employees sent Tuesday, Rettig said the IRS would conduct risk assessments for each of its 600 facilities and evaluate whether to increase security patrols along building exteriors, boost designations for restricted areas, examine security around entrances and assess exterior lighting, according to the report.
It will be the agency’s first such review since the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995, which killed 168 people, the newspaper said.
“For me this is personal,” Rettig wrote in the letter, which was obtained by the Post. “I’ll continue to make every effort to dispel any lingering misperceptions about our work. And I will continue to advocate for your safety in every venue where I have an audience. You go above and beyond every single day, and I am honored to work with each of you.”
The IRS is set to receive $80 billion in new funding over a decade as part of President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act to help the agency increase enforcement. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the higher funding would increase revenues for the U.S. Treasury by some $200 billion over those 10 years.
Republicans have seized on the funding for the tax collector to attack the law the Post said.
“They have 80,000 employees. You know what the IRS also has? 4,600 guns. 5 million rounds of ammunition. Why? Democrats want to double its already massive size,” House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy of California said on the House floor this month, days after the FBI search, according to the Post.