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Why McCarthy’s Vow to Ax New IRS Auditors and Agents Could Backfire



Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy says $80 billion in new IRS funding will be cut if the GOP control the House and Senate. (GV Wire File)
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Is Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy promising voters something that he can’t deliver?

In a bid to energize the GOP base ahead of the November mid-terms, the Bakersfield congressman says the first bill a new Republican majority would pass if it wins control of the House will be one repealing $80 billion in new funding for the IRS to hire more auditors.

McCarthy isn’t alone among Republicans in trying to whip up a frenzy among small-business owners and middle-class taxpayers.

“Are they going to have a strike force that goes in with AK-15s already loaded, ready to shoot some small-business person in Iowa with these, because I think they’re going after middle-class and small-business people,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), a former chairman of the Finance Committee, said of the new funding during an August appearance on Fox News.

Dems: Beefed-up IRS Going After Wealthy Tax Cheats, not Middle Class

Meanwhile, Democrats counter that extra IRS funding is needed to audit wealthy tax cheats. The Dems also say that middle-class filers would be hurt by the GOP’s plans because it might delay their tax refunds.

Aside from the back-and-forth between the two parties looms a bigger question. Even if the Republicans take back the House and the Senate, do they have the power to repeal the additional funding with Joe Biden in the White House?

“The strategy could pay political dividends at the polls in November if the GOP is correct that the calls will motivate their base, but it will also raise expectations that Republicans will follow through on their vows,” analyzes The Hill.

“Yet with President Biden still in office and Republicans at best having a slim majority in the Senate, such a House bill is unlikely to become law.”

Read more at The Hill.

As for the mid-terms, Republicans are slightly favored to win back the House, according to, while Democrats are slightly favored to retain control of the Senate.

(GV Wire/David Rodriguez)

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email