Hatch says he's looking to get IRS more money to implement tax law

Hatch says he's looking to get IRS more money to implement tax law
© Greg Nash

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchTrump to award racing legend Roger Penske with Presidential Medal of Freedom Trump awards Presidential Medal of Freedom to economist, former Reagan adviser Arthur Laffer Second ex-Senate staffer charged in aiding doxxing of GOP senators MORE (R-Utah) said Thursday that's he's looking at getting the IRS more money to help implement the new tax law.

"I want to help them down there," Hatch said at an event at the American Enterprise Institute. "I think they do a very, very good job, much better than people give them credit for."

The Trump administration has requested nearly $400 million over two years for the IRS to help with tax-law implementation. The bulk of that money would go to new technology and hardware.

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Republicans slashed the IRS's budget in the first part of the decade and have been highly critical of the agency — particularly after a 2013 inspector general report that found that the IRS had subjected conservative groups' applications for tax-exempt status to extra scrutiny.

But Hatch said that for the most part, he thinks the IRS does good work.

"We have not been very good to the IRS, and the IRS does a pretty darn good job under the circumstances," Hatch said. "Yeah, there are things you can criticize and things you can make better."

Trump has nominated California tax lawyer Charles Rettig to be IRS commissioner. 

The Finance Committee has yet to hold a hearing on Rettig's nomination. Hatch said he wasn't sure of the status of the nomination in the Senate, and he criticized Democrats for holding up nominations through Trump's time in office.

"I do believe that we ought to put these people through and get them to work, but I have to say that this whole year has been almost a tragedy because Democrats have made us have open votes on people that win 96 to nothing," he said.

Trump has named Assistant Treasury Secretary for Tax Policy David Kautter as the IRS acting commissioner.