GOP seeks to block ObamaCare's IRS funds

Republican Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerCortez Masto named Dem Senate campaign chairwoman Nevada New Members 2019 Election Countdown: Lawsuits fly in Florida recount fight | Nelson pushes to extend deadline | Judge says Georgia county violated Civil Rights Act | Biden, Sanders lead 2020 Dem field in poll | Bloomberg to decide on 2020 by February MORE (Nev.) introduced an amendment to the Senate farm bill Tuesday that would prevent the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from receiving funds to implement ObamaCare.

Heller previously introduced the measure as a standalone bill. Both moves, in addition to several GOP House bills, seek to impede the IRS's role in enacting the Affordable Care Act given the agency's targeting of conservative groups.

"Public distrust in this agency is already at an all-time high, so providing the IRS with more power to enforce this flawed healthcare policy makes no sense," Heller said in a statement. "Simply put, right now, we can't trust the IRS to do its job."


The IRS is tasked with several key functions under ObamaCare, including enforcing the individual mandate to buy health insurance, distributing tax credits and managing the new revenue streams created to fund the law.

Republicans argue that the agency cannot be trusted to neutrally carry out its duties because the agency applied additional scrutiny to conservative groups as they applied for tax-exempt status.

Health policy experts say the risk of discrimination in enforcing ObamaCare is low because the law provides regulators with black and white decisions.

The Senate is continuing its work on the farm bill (S. 954) Tuesday. Some amendment votes are possible.