IRS unloved in 2014 appropriations bill

McClatchy Washington BureauJanuary 14, 2014 


Tea Party Patriots hold a rally to protest the Internal Revenue Service's abuse of power in targeting Tea Party and grassroots organizations for harassment in June 2013.


The Internal Revenue Service, the subject of great controversy throughout much of 2013 because of its admitted inappropriate scrutiny of conservative organizations, didn’t get much love in the 2014 appropriations bill. It keeps in place most of the sequester-level funding, providing the agency about $11.3 billion.

That’s about $526 million below what the IRS received in the 2013 fiscal year, and is well below the $12.86 billion the agency and the Obama administration sought. In fact, the sequester-level funding means the agency will be getting funding below that of the 2009 appropriation levels, the House Appropriations Committee said.

“Within this amount, $92 million in IRS funding is set aside to improve taxpayer services and address refund fraud, identity theft, and overseas compliance. The bill includes no additional funding for ObamaCare,” the committee said in a statement.

The IRS has increased duties under the Affordable Care Act, dubbed ObamaCare, as it must levy the penalties for individuals who choose not to get individual healthcare policies as mandated under the controversial law.

The IRS will now be subjected to more extensive reporting, the committee said, about spending by management, and spending on training and bonuses and prohibits funding for “inappropriate” motivational videos that became public and became fodder for late night TV hosts to ridicule the agency.

In a rare area where an agency was given more than it asked, the Treasury Department got more than it sought for anti-terrorism and financial intelligence programs. The bill designated $102 million to that end, $2 million above fiscal 2013 enacted levels and $4.2 million above what the Obama administration sought.

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