Senators Drop Plans To Pay $1 Trillion Infrastructure Bill With More IRS Enforcement

Two-part group of senators DROP plans to pay for $1 trillion infrastructure bill with more IRS enforcement to get taxes off the rich in Democrats’ latest bid to push plan through Congress with GOP support

  • Lawmakers dropped President Joe Biden’s plan to help pay for a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package by increasing the IRS’s powers
  • Biden Wanted To Give IRS More Power To Collect Taxes From Evaders
  • Republican Senator Rob Portman Confirmed Provision Was Dropped
  • He said there was ‘pushback’ from a bipartisan group
  • Schumer sets deadline for Wednesday vote on $1 trillion package
  • Republicans warn bill may not be finalized by then
  • Negotiators try to figure out how to pay for it

Lawmakers dropped President Joe Biden’s plan to help pay for a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package by increasing the Internal Revenue Service’s tax collection powers on evaders.

Republican Senator Rob Portman told CNN on Sunday that the provision was being dropped because “we did have opposition. Republicans would be concerned about the amount of power it would give the IRS.

It has been a stumbling block in the negotiations as Biden’s economic agenda undergoes a major test in the Senate this week.

Democrats are urging Republicans to come to the table for the bipartisan infrastructure plan, which focuses on highways, airports, waterways and other traditional projects. It needs at least 10 GOP votes if it is too far ahead in the Senate.

Republican Senator Rob Portman said lawmakers have removed President Joe Biden’s plan to help pay for a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package by increasing the Internal Revenue Service’s tax collection powers on evaders.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said a deadline for a vote Wednesday on the bipartisan infrastructure bill

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said a deadline for a vote Wednesday on the bipartisan infrastructure bill

There’s a chance the IRS provision could be included in a reconciliation bill being worked out under Democrats that will include $3.5 trillion in “human” infrastructure programs such as free pre-K and community college, extended paid family, and medical leave and climate change.

Both pieces of legislation are rounded off with questions about how they will be paid.

Biden suggested increasing the IRS’s budget and stepping up its enforcement powers to help the agency crack down on wealthy individuals and powerful corporations trying to evade taxes.

Government officials believed they could collect at least $700 billion in the next 10 years. The IRS estimates that it only collects 84 percent of the money it owns in taxes each year, resulting in a loss of $406 billion a year. That amount is a combination of $458 billion unpaid and $52 billion uncollected from those who are delinquent, according to the watchdog group Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

“In terms of IRS reform, or IRS tax gap, what was in the original proposal, it will no longer be in our proposal. It will be in the greater law of atonement, we are told. And those are the two tracks here,” Portman, one of the bipartisan negotiations, told CNN’s State of the Union Address on Sunday.

The clock is ticking toward Senate Leader Chuck Schumer’s Wednesday deadline for both pieces of legislation.

On Monday, Schumer will file cloture, a legislative process that sets Wednesday’s vote for the bipartisan package. But it’s unclear if the legislation will be finalized by that date, and several Republican senators said they wouldn’t vote for it without the text of the bill.

And some Republican senators are asking for more time.

“Unless Senator Schumer doesn’t want this to happen, you need a little more time to get it right,” Republican Senator Bill Cassidy told Fox News Sunday.

Portman said the same thing.

“Chuck Schumer, with all due respect, is not writing the bill. Neither does Mitch McConnell, by the way. That’s why we shouldn’t have an arbitrary deadline of Wednesday,” he said. “We need to bring the legislation forward when it’s ready.”

President Joe Biden proposed increasing the IRS's budget and stepping up its enforcement powers to help the agency crack down on wealthy individuals and powerful corporations trying to evade taxes

President Joe Biden proposed increasing the IRS’s budget and stepping up its enforcement powers to help the agency crack down on wealthy individuals and powerful corporations trying to evade taxes

The group of 11 Republicans and 11 members of the Democratic caucus reached a broad-frame deal with the White House last month, but paying for the $1 trillion project remains a sticking point.

Without the IRS provision, lawmakers will have to scramble this week to come up with other options.

Schumer also set a deadline on Wednesday for Democrats to agree on what their $3.5 trillion bill will make up and how it will be paid. Senate Democrats will try to pass this measure without a single GOP vote, through a process called reconciliation, which will allow them to skip the usual 60-vote threshold to move legislation forward.

A top priority for President Biden, the bill needs all 50 Senate Democrats on board, including moderates like Senator Joe Manchin, who is questioning any legislation being fully funded.

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