Rep. Roskam: IRS Budget Cuts Best Way to Control 'Rogue Operation'

Wednesday, 16 Jul 2014 12:47 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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The Internal Revenue Service has been "exposed as a rogue operation," Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., told Newsmax TV on Wednesday, and as such, the best way to push back is on its financial side.

The agency is "really instituting an insidious agenda and targeting the American people," Roskam, a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means, told "America's Forum" host J.D. Hayworth.

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The GOP-controlled House voted Monday to slash the budget for the Internal Revenue Service's tax enforcement division by $1.2 billion, a 25 percent cut that would mean fewer audits of taxpayers and make it more likely that people who cheat on their taxes will get away with it.

The House approved the cuts by voice vote after little debate as it took up a $21 billion spending bill that sets the IRS budget.

Roskam said Wednesday the budget cuts are the best way to stop the IRS' activities, and that the House is using the "appropriations process to rein in the Internal Revenue Service and to push back against them, to limit their resources, to cut off their bonuses, and to make sure that their records are not destroyed."

The action will ultimately have a restraining influence and will help stop the IRS's targeting of conservatives, he said.

And while some critics say such budget reductions will force the IRS to cut back on its enforcement activities, Roskam said that Democrats who make that claim are "essentially framing up the IRS as victims."

There are some leading liberals who are arguing that the IRS did not target conservative groups in a "ridiculous" argument that "is untrue on its face, and all the overwhelming evidence proves that to be false," Roskam said.

Liberals are also arguing that the IRS will better handle such incidents if it is better funded, he said.

"Both of those things, they're ridiculous, and they're not credible and they're not persuasive, and we're not going to be moved by those false claims," Roskam said.

President Barack Obama has threatened to veto legislation to cut the IRS budget, said Hayworth, but Roskam said the Senate is in a precarious place.

"So [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid, R-Nev., is going to shut the whole system down to defend the Internal Revenue Service?" said Roskam. "Is that his claim? As he's got member after member after member in states that Mitt Romney won, and he's in a very vulnerable position as it relates to the Senate Democrats' claim on the majority? They are in a very difficult position."

Democrats are not only having to defend the IRS's activities to their constituents, but also Obamacare, Roskam pointed out, and here are Senate Democrats telling Reid he is on his own when it comes to the IRS.

And while some people may say cutting government spending causes a loss of services, Roskam said people mostly just want their government services to be efficient and fair.

"The Internal Revenue Service that has the ability to put people in jail, [and] has now targeted people," said Roskam. "I saw these written interrogatories from the Internal Revenue Service targeting right-to-life groups and asking them in writing — can you imagine this — asking them in writing, 'Tell us about your prayers. Tell us what goes on in your prayer meetings.'"

Such policies, said Roskam, should make people "just shudder with fear, with that kind of insidious power coming from the federal government."

Budget cuts are an effort to get the IRS under control, Roskam insisted.

"This is an effort to get this agency under control," he said. "They have not faithfully executed the law. They have not faithfully used the resources that they have been entrusted with, and we in the House are determined to get this right and to rein them in."

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