Financial Services Appropriations bill cracks down on IRS funding

Last Wednesday, the House took an important step in reducing federal spending with the passage of H.R. 5016, the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act. 

Due to the ongoing investigation into the IRS abuse of power, the bill reins in funding for the federal agency. The House adopted amendments that cut $1 billion from the IRS funding proposed in the original bill, which was already set at $341 million below current levels. The bill passed in the House Wednesday allotted only $9.8 billion in funding to the IRS, representing a 13 percent cut to current spending levels according to Roll Call.

Cutting funds to the IRS both reduces federal spending and helps to limit the agency’s troublesome overreach. H.R. 5016 prohibits funds for the IRS to target individuals and organizations based on political beliefs, a positive step in ensuring that the IRS cannot interfere with first amendment rights when deciding tax-exempt status.

The House also approved Congressman Paul Gosar’s amendment that prohibits performance bonuses for senior executives at the IRS. The Congressman pointed out that senior executives should never have allowed the targeting of conservatives to occur and that they should therefore be held accountable for failing to protect the public from federal overreach.

The House also adopted Congressman Pat Meehan’s amendment that prohibits funding for the renovation of the White House bowling alley. Meehan points out that with “the nation $17 trillion in debt,” renovating the bowling alley is an unnecessary waste of taxpayer dollars.

While there is still much work to be done, the Financial Services Appropriations bill makes more efficient use of federal funds and includes efforts to ensure that the IRS is held accountable for recent abuses of its power.

TAGS: Spending, Appropriations, Budget Reform, issues

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