a $1.1 trillion dollar spending bill, along with a $680 billion tax bill, conservatives railed that this was another instance of GOP capitulation to the Obama White House. Another thing that might irk them is that fact that the bill gave the IRS a three percent increase in funding. While it’s almost $2 billion shy of what the president wanted, the fact that this federal agency, which is still embroiled in controversy over the alleged targeting of conservative groups, is surely not a welcome piece of news (via The Hill):
The $1.1 trillion omnibus provides an additional $290 million for the IRS, an increase of 3 percent over the last fiscal year.
Lawmakers specified that the additional funding is to be used for “taxpayer services to ensure that the agency responds to taxpayer questions in a timely manner, and to improve fraud detection and prevention and cybersecurity,” according to a summary from Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee.
The base funding level for the IRS was kept at about $10.9 billion.
The IRS had seen its funding repeatedly slashed since the controversy erupted over the agency’s heightened scrutiny of Tea Party groups.
In fiscal 2015, Republicans hit the IRS with a $346 million budget cut, pushing the agency’s overall funding lower than it had been in fiscal 2008. In fiscal 2014, the IRS received $526 million less than it had the year before that.
The omnibus law provides $1.7 billion less for the IRS than Obama had requested for the agency in his budget.