Following a string of controversial expansions and arms acquisitions by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) has announced a legislative plan to reign in the power of the tax agency.
Dubbed the “Why Does the IRS Have Guns Act,” the legislation introduced on Tuesday targets a very specific line item of government spending. The IRS, Ernst noted, has been “fully loaded at the expense of the taxpayer.” Her proposed bill would prohibit the tax agency from buying, receiving, or storing guns and ammunition.
"All guns and ammo currently in their possession would be transferred to the General Services Administration to be auctioned off to federal firearms license owners to support federal deficit reduction."
— Bonnie Blue (@BonnieBlueTK) June 13, 2023
Senator Ernst’s goal is not merely to disarm the IRS but also to redirect these misused funds toward addressing federal deficit reduction. Under the new bill, the IRS will be required to transfer all guns and ammunition currently in its possession to the General Services Administration (GSA) within 120 days of the bill’s enactment. The GSA will then auction off these weapons to federal firearms license owners, and the proceeds will be deposited into the Treasury for deficit reduction.
With the Biden administration increasing the size of the IRS, the tax agency has been on a shopping spree with taxpayer money. The agency reportedly spent over $10 million on “weaponry and gear” since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, according to Ernst’s press release, the IRS has spent $35.2 million in taxpayer dollars on guns, ammunition, and military-style equipment since 2006.
The massive armament of the ”taxman,” as Ernst pointedly referred to the IRS, has left many scratching their heads and questioning why a tax collection agency would need such imposing firepower. As a further bulwark against the unchecked expansion and weaponization of the IRS, Ernst also proposes the relocation of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division within the Justice Department.
Despite the staggering figures surrounding the IRS’s spending spree, it could have been smoother sailing for the tax agency last year. Under Joe Biden’s version of the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act,” the IRS was earmarked for an $80 billion funding boost. However, Republicans successfully negotiated a $1.4 billion cut from the service granted in the law.
Additionally, during debt ceiling negotiations, Republicans managed to divert $20 billion from the IRS over the next two years to different non-defense programs.
While the IRS and White House have yet to respond to the proposed legislation, Senator Ernst’s proactive stance against the overreach and weaponization of the IRS is a strong statement of fiscal responsibility and governmental restraint. If passed, this bill will resonate with hardworking Americans and small businesses who feel the sting of the taxman’s ever-expanding reach.