Lawmakers are abandoning the plan to fund spending with higher taxation

One of the party’s negotiators said Republican senators have rejected a plan to spend $ 40 billion more on tax enforcement to help pay for a $ 1 billion bipartisan infrastructure package.

Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican senator and one of 22 members negotiating the deal, said Sunday that his colleagues had decided not to include a proposal to bolster the Internal Revenue Service after the return of their members. fellow Republicans.

Members of the bipartisan group continued to meet over the weekend to discuss the details of their bill, with Chuck Schumer, the leader of the Senate majority, having promised make a vote in a few days to prove assistance for the package.

Portman said Sunday that Republican senators had rejected the Democratic proposal to tighten the IRS after discovering that U.S. President Joe Biden intended to include a similar measure in his budget bill later in the year. .

“One reason it’s not part of the proposal is that we’ve got a return,” Portman told CNN. “Another reason is that we discovered that Democrats were going to put a proposal in the reconciliation package, which was not only similar to what we had, but with a lot more IRS enforcement.”

Natasha Sarin, a senior Treasury official, has defended the plan to increase the IRS budget. A few hours after Portman’s comments he tweeted: “The IRS has had fewer listeners than at any time since World War II. It’s no surprise that the fiscal deficit costs the United States 3% of GDP / year, disproportionately from the $$ who don’t pay their fair share. “

Biden announced last month that senators from both parties had reached an agreement on a deal to spend about $ 1 a ton on roads, bridges and broadband networks for the next eight years. The agreement was seen as a victory for the president, who gave priority to infrastructure spending but also promised to restore cooperation between parties in Washington.

Since then, however, negotiators on both sides have tried to translate that agreement into a legislative text that could pass both houses of Congress.

One of the key points of attack was how to pay the billions of dollars in extra spending.

Democrats are pushing for a major boost to the IRS budget, which is down 20 percent from 2010 to 2018, according to the Congressional Budget Office, leading to 22 percent of its staff being cut.

These reductions have widened the U.S. fiscal deficit. The Treasury estimate that about $ 580 billion in taxes will not be paid in 2019, yes around $ 400 billion a year from 2011-2013.

The CBO estimates that by spending an additional $ 40 billion in tax revenue for 10 years, Congress could increase revenues by $ 100 billion. But the proposals have caused concern among Republicans, who have been critical of the IRS.

Portman said last month: “What we don’t want is an overly intrusive IRS getting into small businesses and causing inappropriate burdens.”

Sunday Portman rejected Schumer’s attempts to put pressure on senators to come to an agreement in time for a test vote this week. The Republican senator said: “Chuck Schumer, with all due respect, is not writing the bill. Neither is Mitch McConnell [the Senate minority leader], by the way. So that’s why we shouldn’t have an arbitrary Wednesday term. ”

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