Congressional Republicans are attacking Democrats for their $80 billion investment into the IRS in the final weeks of their midterm campaigns, with candidates stoking claims that the expansion will target the middle class.
Ads published by the Senate Leadership Fund and Our American Century PACs, as well as ads from candidates themselves, say the IRS’ 80,000 new hires will dig into the pockets of everyday Americans. The ads have popped up in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Nevada Ohio and elsewhere in recent weeks.
Republican Tiffany Smiley, a Senate candidate in Washington state, filmed an ad in front of a football stadium, remarking that her opponent wanted to fill it with IRS agents.
“I think it’s insane that Joe Biden and Patty Murray are sending a stadium full of new IRS agents to force families making less than $75,000 to pay for someone else’s law degree.” Smiley says in the ad.
An ad in Georgia against Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock argues the Democrats gave the IRS “$46 billion to hire IRS agents to extract $20 billion from people who make less than $400,000.”
“Much of that money will come from cracking down on people who get paid with cash, tips or phone apps. If you do real work — waiting tables, serving drinks, driving Ubers or other jobs, Biden and Warnock’s new IRS agents may knock on your door soon,” the ad continues.
The ads heavily cite a preliminary estimate from the Congressional Budget Office on how much the IRS funding boost was expected to impact those making under $400,000. The IRS funding boost came as part of President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act.
Biden’s Treasury Department has pushed back on the accusations, saying the majority of new agents will be tasked with inspecting the finances of those making more than $400,000 per year. They also state that many of the new hires will replace an expected wave of retirements and departures from the agency.
An amendment from Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, would have prohibited the IRS from using any of its new funding to target Americans below the $400,000 threshold, but it failed in Congress.