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House GOP Seeks To Defund VP Harris’ Office, IRS In Spending Bill

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


House Republicans are pushing legislation that would cut funding to Vice President Kamala Harris’ office as well as the Internal Revenue Service, setting up a showdown with the Democratic-controlled Senate and Joe Biden’s White House.

Fox News reported Tuesday that “Republicans are clamoring to defund a wide array of Biden administration offices, attaching several amendments to do just that to a government funding bill set to be considered this week.”

“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.”

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Meanwhile, Rep. Russell Fry (R-S.C.), who is in his first term, offered an amendment that ends funding for the Treasury Dept.’s Climate Hub, which supposedly helps the agency form and coordinate strategies involving climate change.

The GOP-controlled House vowed to pass 12 separate spending bills, each aimed at providing funds for specific government agencies in fiscal year 2024, targeting GOP priorities. The 2023 fiscal year ended Sept. 30, and the House was forced to pass a short-term spending bill that expires on Nov. 17.

Last week, the House passed a stand-alone bill providing Israel with $14.5 billion in aid as its war against Hamas continues, but that, too, got pushback 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.”

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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.”

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