On Tuesday, House Republicans announced they were pushing for legislation that would reduce funding to Vice President Kamala Harris’ office and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), setting up a potential conflict with the Senate and White House, both of which are controlled by Democrats.
Fox News reported that GOP lawmakers had “attached several amendments to a government funding bill” in order to achieve this goal.
“The House is expected to take up the Financial Services and General Government fiscal year 2024 appropriations, which lay out funding for the Treasury and executive office of the president, among other sections,” the report added.
Rep. Mike Collins (R-Ga.) added an amendment to the bill that would reduce funding for Harris’ office.
Fox adds: “Multiple amendments that were offered targeted funding toward the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention, while another by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., proposed reducing Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Daniel Werfel’s salary to $1. Two Offices of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (ODEIA) within the Biden administration are the subject of cost-cutting GOP proposals. An amendment proposed by Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla., specified defunding the Treasury’s ODEIA, and a similar amendment by Rep. Harriet Hageman, R-Wyo., hit the Office of Personnel Management.”
Rep. Russell Fry (R-S.C.), who is serving his first term in Congress, proposed an amendment to cut off funding for the Treasury Department’s Climate Hub, which works to form and coordinate strategies relating to climate change.
This was done amidst the House’s efforts to pass twelve separate spending bills that provide funds for various government agencies during fiscal year 2024; these are focused on Republican priorities.
The 2023 fiscal year ended Sept. 30th, thus necessitating a short-term spending bill until Nov. 17th.
Additionally, the House passed a stand-alone bill earlier last week providing Israel with $14.5 billion in aid amid its war against Hamas; however, this has been met with resistance from the Democrat-controlled Senate and a veto threat from the White House.
“Democratic and Republican leaders over in the Senate say there’s no way the stand-alone measure gets anywhere. The White House has said it would veto it anyway. So, with time of essence and urgency here, why waste time on a measure that has almost zero chance of actually aiding the Israeli people?” “Fox News Sunday” host Shannon Bream asked House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.).
“Shannon, it’s really surprising to hear Senator Schumer say that it’s not a serious proposal. It’s actually what was requested—$14.5 billion,” Johnson began, noting that’s the amount the Biden White House wanted.
“What they don’t like is that in the House, we’re trying to be good stewards of the taxpayers’ resources. We offset that spending. Instead of printing new dollars and/or borrowing it from another nation to send over to fulfill our obligations and help our ally, we want to pay for it. What a concept, and we’re trying to change how Washington works,” he added.
“And so, by taking that money from this giant fund—over $65 billion that’s sitting there to build up the IRS—we weighed those priorities and said, You know what? It’s more important to protect Israel right now than it is to hire more IRS agents,” Johnson continued. “Apparently, Senator Schumer disagrees with that. But I’ll take that debate to the American people all day long.”
She countered: “Well, he’s pointing, as others are, to the Congressional Budget Office, a nonpartisan group that scores these things. And they said, actually, if you take that funding from the IRS, it’s going to add billions to the deficit because you cut IRS personnel. They are not then collecting the revenue that they bring in. One of your House colleagues, Democrat Brendan Boyle, put it this way. He says you are prioritizing, quote, deficit-busting tax giveaways for the wealthy over helping Israel.”
Johnson brushed that criticism off.
“Only in Washington can you cut funding and add a pay-for to a new spending measure, and they say it’s terrible for the deficit,” he said. “Listen, we’re taking care of our priorities, and we will.”