Conservatives say bipartisan infrastructure deal shouldn't include IRS funding

Conservatives say bipartisan infrastructure deal shouldn't include IRS funding
© Greg Nash

Leaders of conservative organizations are urging GOP lawmakers to "push the reset button" on a bipartisan infrastructure deal and not include any additional IRS funding in such a package.

"With the Covid crisis over, the economy recovering, and the national debt crashing toward $30 trillion, Congress should be aggressively CUTTING spending right now – not adding to the record size and scope of government," the conservatives wrote in a letter addressed to conservative lawmakers.

Signers of the letter include Stephen MooreStephen MooreRepublicans have moral and financial reasons to oppose raising the debt ceiling Ex-Trump aides launch million campaign against Biden economic agenda Families of 9/11 victims hope for answers about Saudi involvement in attacks MORE, a former outside economic adviser to former President TrumpDonald TrumpUkraine's president compares UN to 'a retired superhero' Collins to endorse LePage in Maine governor comeback bid Heller won't say if Biden won election MORE and a co-founder of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, as well as Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist and FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon.

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President BidenJoe BidenUkraine's president compares UN to 'a retired superhero' Biden touts 'progress' during 'candid' meetings on .5T plan Biden to tap law professor who wants to 'end banking as we know it' as OCC chief: reports MORE and a bipartisan group of senators last month announced a framework for a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package that includes $579 billion in new spending. The measure would include spending in areas such as transportation, water infrastructure and broadband.

The framework proposes to pay for the spending in several ways, including through repurposing unspent COVID-19 relief funds and increasing enforcement of tax laws. The proposal calls for giving the IRS an additional $40 billion in order to raise $100 billion in net revenue.

The conservative leaders argued that the bipartisan deal is a "betrayal of basic conservative values of fiscal responsibility." They also criticized Biden and congressional Democrats for wanting to pass a Democratic-only spending bill in addition to a measure based on the bipartisan framework.

The conservatives said that any bipartisan infrastructure deal should be pay for new spending for exclusively through repurposing unspent federal funds. They also said that a package should include authorization of the Keystone XL Pipeline, for which Biden revoked a key permit, and should focus on roads, bridges, pipelines and airports.

Additionally, the letter argues that a bipartisan infrastructure measure should not include any additional IRS funding "especially given its multiple scandals over the past decade." 

The Senate could take up legislation based on the bipartisan deal as soon as July 19. But there could be challenges in passing legislation based on the framework, because lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have raised concerns about some of the proposed ways to pay for the agreement. Some GOP senators have raised concerns about the IRS funding proposal, while some Democrats have raised concerns about repurposing unspent coronavirus relief funds.

The Washington Post first reported on the letter.