WASHINGTON — The House has voted to cut the Internal Revenue Service’s budget by $1.14 billion in another blow to the tax agency.
The action came late Monday in a pair of votes on amendments offered by Republicans Paul Gosar of Arizona and Bill Huizenga of Michigan. Both proposals were passed by voice vote as part of a broader spending bill slated for passage as early as Tuesday. A voice vote means that lawmakers aren’t on the record supporting or opposing the cuts.
The changes would leave the IRS with a budget of $9.8 billion for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1, 13 percent below this year’s funding level and 21 percent below the administration’s request.
“The list of scandals and examples of mismanagement within the IRS seems to grow every day,” Gosar said in a statement. “This agency, which aggressively pursues American citizens it believes deserve extra scrutiny, must understand that the IRS is first and foremost accountable to the American people, not the other way around.”
Democrats, who have defended the agency and said the cuts would enable tax cheating, allowed the amendments to be adopted without forcing a roll-call vote. That prevented members in both parties from having to take a position.
Gosar’s amendment reduces $353 million from operations support, or the back-office functions of IRS. Huizenga’s proposal cuts $788 million from enforcement.
Administration officials have said that additional enforcement spending yields a return of as much as $6 for every dollar spent. The Obama administration has said the president would veto the measure if it were passed.
The National Taxpayer Advocate, the IRS Oversight Board and the union representing IRS employees have called for the agency to receive more funding.