In the last week, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has come under fire after the Senate voted to secure billions of dollars in funding for the federal agency and after a controversial job announcement was posted on USAJobs. According to a recent Fox Business article by Jessica Chasmar, “An online job posting for special agents within the law enforcement branch of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is causing a stir on social media, as Congress prepares to pass a spending bill that would greatly expand the federal agency” and fill “87,000 IRS positions, more than doubling the agency's current size.”
Chasmar noted that on Sunday, the Inflation Reduction Act, a bill that “includes an $80 billion boost to the IRS over a 10-year period, with more than half intended to help the agency crack down on tax evasion,” was passed by the Senate after Vice President Kamala Harris voted to break the tie. Many Republican lawmakers opposed the bill and attempted to file an amendment to the bill but failed. According to The Hill, Republican Sen. Mike Crapo (Idaho), ranking member of the Finance Committee voiced his opposition on the Senate floor by saying, “The Democrats’ reckless IRS funding increase would raise enforcement funding by nearly 70 percent above what IRS is currently projected to get.”
In addition to the controversial bill that was passed, a USAJobs listing for “Criminal Investigation Special Agents” for the IRS was deleted and then reinstated after a major requirement for the position revealed that future employees would be “legally allowed to carry a firearm," said Chasmar. The article also highlighted that employees would have to "Carry a firearm and be willing to use deadly force, if necessary" and "Be willing and able to participate in arrests, execution of search warrants, and other dangerous assignments.”
Democrats continue to maintain the position that small businesses and everyday Americans who earn less than $400,000 will not be targeted by the bill or IRS agents. However, “Republicans warn the bill will fund an army of IRS agents to crack down on small business owners and lower-income workers. Americans who earn less than $75,000 per year are slated to receive 60% of the additional tax audits expected under the Democrats' spending package,” reported House Republicans.
Americans are not only concerned with the increase in funding, but they are also concerned about what 87,000 new IRS employees will be tasked with, especially after the controversial job announcement was posted. “If you think the federal government is out of control now, God help us when you get 87,000 new IRS agents who are looking under every rock and stone to get money out of your pocket,” said Lindsey Graham in a press conference. The House is set to vote on the bill by the end of the week. The final round of votes will determine whether the bill is officially passed.