WASHINGTON – A proposal to strengthen IRS enforcement to crack down on tax evaders and help fund nearly $ 1,000 billion in bipartisan infrastructure spending is officially out of the question, the Republican Senator from Ohio, Rob Portman.
Portman, who is involved in negotiating the bill, cited the “pushback” from fellow Republican lawmakers who dislike the idea of ââexpanding the reach of the IRS, which they have accused over the years. years of unfairly targeting the Conservatives. He said another reason the IRS provision was suspended is that Democrats are including a more robust enforcement plan in a separate $ 3.5 trillion infrastructure bill they have. intend to pass through the Senate using special budget rules and without Republican votes.
“This has created quite a problem because the general agreement is that this is the bipartisan negotiated infrastructure package and we will stick with it,” the Ohio senator said on “State of the Union âfrom CNN.
Portman’s announcement that the IRS provision had been removed highlights the difficulty for the bipartisan group of Republican and Democratic senators to find mutually acceptable ways to pay billions of dollars in new spending that their White House-backed plan calls for .
Portman said meetings were scheduled for Sunday to discuss alternatives to the IRS provision.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is pressuring lawmakers to reach agreement this week on the pair of massive domestic spending measures, signaling Democrats’ desire to aggressively push forward the multibillion-dollar agenda of President Joe Biden’s dollars.
Schumer, DN.Y., said last week that he was planning a procedural vote on Wednesday to begin debate on the still-evolving bipartisan infrastructure bill. Senators from both sides, negotiating for weeks, struggled to reach a final deal on a $ 1 trillion package of highways, water systems and other public works projects.
Portman on Sunday called it an “arbitrary delay” and premature given that senators have yet to agree on the details of the “complex” bill.
âWe want to do it right. It’s not too much to ask that we have time to do it, âsaid Portman. âWe shouldn’t have an arbitrary deadline forcing this process. “
Schumer said he also wanted Democratic senators to reach an agreement among themselves by Wednesday on the specific details of a separate 10-year budget plan that includes $ 3.5 trillion in climate change spending, l education, Medicare expansion and more.