Kelly, Thune sponsor bicameral IRS Funding Accountability Act

Congress would have a direct say in how $80 billion in Inflation Reduction Act funding authorized for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) would be spent under a bicameral bill proposed by U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) and U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-SD). 

“The goal of my legislation is to provide much-needed oversight and accountability that the Inflation Reduction Act lacks,” Rep. Kelly said. “This will hold the government accountable to the American people and ensure the IRS is properly using taxpayer dollars.”

“This legislation would provide much-needed oversight of the unprecedented $80 billion in funding to the agency, more than half of which Democrats have directed toward enforcement-related measures, including audits,” agreed Sen. Thune. “If our bill becomes law, the Biden administration’s IRS would have to answer to the American people, not Washington bureaucrats.”

Rep. Kelly on Feb. 9 sponsored the IRS Funding Accountability Act, H.R. 888, with four Republican original cosponsors: U.S. Reps. Ron Estes (R-KS), Randy Feenstra (R-IA), Darin LaHood (R-IL), and Lloyd Smucker (R-PA). Sen. Thune on the same day sponsored the identical S. 338 with 12 GOP original cosponsors, including U.S. Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Steve Daines (R-MT), Tim Scott (R-SC), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Todd Young (R-IN). 

If enacted, the bill would require the IRS to provide Congress with an annual plan for how the agency intends to use the Inflation Reduction Act funds that would be subject to a new joint resolution of disapproval, according to a bill summary provided by the lawmakers. 

Among several provisions, the bill also would require quarterly updates from the IRS and the U.S. Department of the Treasury to enable consistent and transparent evaluation of the plans, provide accountability for any misuse of funds, and guard against violations of taxpayer rights, the summary says, noting that failure to submit timely and thorough plans or reports would result in financial penalties.

Americans for Tax Reform, the National Taxpayers Union, and Americans For Prosperity endorsed the bill.

“Democrats and the Biden administration have weaponized the IRS over the last two years to pay for their tax-and-spend agenda. The time for oversight is now,” said Rep. Kelly. “The $80 billion authorized in the so-called Inflation Reduction Act will unfairly target low-and-middle income Americans.”