IRS Chief Claims $14.3 Billion Israel Aid Offset Would Cost $90 Billion: Report
Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Daniel Werfel testifies before the Senate Finance Committee about the Biden Administration's proposed budget request for FY2024 and the 2023 tax filing season in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on April 19, 2023 in Washington, DC.
(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The House GOP plan to offset billions of dollars in aid for Israel by cutting the same amount of money to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) would end up being a costly one, said the head of the agency.

Backed by House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), the proposal would provide $14.3 billion to Israel — which is fighting Iran-backed Hamas following its deadly terrorist attacks on Israeli soil earlier this month — while rescinding $14.3 billion in funds made available to the IRS.

IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel reportedly said the offset would cost $90 billion, according to Washington Post reporter Jacob Bogage, who conveyed the comments in a post to X on Tuesday. “All of those funds go to increased scrutiny on tax evasion going on at the highest wealth levels,” Werfel said, adding that the IRS would be “leaving money on the table.”

The critique aligns with what Democrats in Congress have said in opposing the measure, which aims to further cut the budget of the IRS after President Joe Biden secured $80 billion through the Inflation Reduction Act to bolster and modernize the agency over 10 years — with an agenda to commit more than half of the money to enforcement, particularly in going after wealthy tax evaders — only for roughly $21 billion to get clawed back as part of a debt ceiling deal in June.

In remarks on the Senate floor on Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said he was “deeply troubled” by the House Republicans’ “partisan” legislation not having funds for Ukraine, humanitarian assistance for Gaza, and the Indo-Pacific. Schumer also said the House GOP plan contained “poison pills” that benefit the wealthy “tax cheats” and would increase the deficit.

Johnson, who is less than a week into the job as speaker, told Fox News that he hoped for bipartisan support for the House GOP plan, but acknowledged that the proposal was a “first draft.” He also said the United States is “not just going to print money and send it overseas” and that he believes the American people would say that “standing with Israel and protecting the innocent over there is in our national interest and is a more immediate need than IRS agents.”

The plan has the support of conservatives. One person who praised Johnson was former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. “Speaker Mike Johnson made exactly the right decision to bring up the aid for Israel by itself without tying it to anything else,” Gingrich said in a post to X. “It is also very encouraging that he is going to offset the aid for Israel with spending cuts to start cutting the deficit and fighting inflation. Great start for the new Speaker.”


President Joe Biden has asked Congress to approve roughly $106 billion in national security-related funds, including $14.3 billion for Israel, $61.4 billion for Ukraine, as well as money for Taiwan and the Indo-Pacific, humanitarian assistance, and border security. Two of his top Cabinet officials, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, testified before a Senate committee about the request on Tuesday.

At the White House, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said that Israel and Ukraine, which is engaged in armed conflict against Russian invaders, are “intertwined.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) similarly said threats to the United States are “intertwined” and should not be ignored while calling for Washington to rally behind allies such as Israel and Ukraine.

House Democrats sent a letter to Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Phillip Swagel on Tuesday seeking an analysis on the GOP proposal. The Republican measure had a provision that sought to “skirt around” a CBO score, noted Punchbowl News co-founder Jake Sherman.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  IRS Chief Claims $14.3 Billion Israel Aid Offset Would Cost $90 Billion: Report