The IRS is guilty of targeting innocent Americans... So I targeted them.
In July of 2014, the House of Representatives sent a strong message to the IRS and the Administration, "Shape up or lose your funding." The House passed an appropriations bill which cut funding to the IRS by over $1 billion and to its lowest level since 2003. Included with passage of this bill were four of my amendments which cut more than $400 million in wasteful spending from the IRS and other government agencies. At a time when our nation is more than $17 trillion dollars in debt and with a federal budget on track to spend $500 billion more than it will take in, we must make real cuts to reign in federal spending.
I was elected to bring the budget realities that American families are forced to live with everyday to the out of control spending process in Washington, including at the IRS. But more damning than the financial condition of the country is the fact that this agency has shown contempt for American taxpayers. It has ignored Congress and ignored subpoenas. It has stonewalled. It has destroyed evidence. It has lied. It has abused its powers and targeted our citizenry for exercising their political beliefs.
As I have travelled across Arizona’s Fourth District, constituents have been demanding congress "do" something other than hold hearing after hearing about the problems at the IRS. I am proud to report to you that I have listened and am "doing" something that Congress has complete power to do—use the power of the purse. My amendments, which were passed with bipartisan support, demand accountability from a reckless and wasteful federal bureaucracy.
Here’s a look at a few of my successful amendments:
Amendment #1- $353 Million Cut to the IRS:
The House unanimously adopted one my amendments that cut funds for the IRS by $353 million as part of the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act of fiscal year 2015. Historically, the IRS has never been liked by the American People. I would argue that the power wielded by this agency is matched only by the Department of Defense, because—as we all know—the power to tax is the power to destroy. And although no one ever liked the IRS, most Americans quietly trusted them. They trusted that the agency was enforcing the law with fairness and impartiality, and were beyond reproach in terms of political pressure. That trust has not only been questioned, it has been annihilated. Passage of this amendment by the House was a strong statement for holding this rogue agency accountable for the illegal targeting of conservatives and other ongoing scandals. Read more HERE.
Amendment #4 –No IRS Bonuses:
Another successful Gosar amendment prohibited bonuses for senior executive service employees at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for fiscal year 2015. The amendment passed with a bipartisan vote of 282-138, with one member voting present.
I was pleased to see 57 members on the other side of the aisle break rank and join me in holding a rogue agency accountable. Despite President Obama’s insistence that there is ‘not a smidgen of corruption’ at the IRS, nearly 30% of House Democrats voted to prohibit bonuses for senior executive employees. This bipartisan vote is a stunning rebuke to the President, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, Lois Lerner, and all management within the agency.
Americans across the country have been outraged at the lawlessness and lack of accountability flaunted by the IRS. Politicians of all political stripes have vowed to do something about it. This amendment was another opportunity to act rather than simply speak. The IRS has not only failed to live up to its responsibilities, it has blatantly violated the rights of countless American citizens.
Giving out bonuses to senior management in the middle of one of the largest and most significant scandals in modern American history is a slap in the face to the American public. As long as I remain a member of Congress, and until the American people have closure on this dark chapter in our history, I will seek to ensure this policy becomes law—each and every fiscal year.