DeLauro in Opposition to Extreme Republican Funding Bill: “Cuts to the IRS would protect tax cheats over honest, hard-working families”

2023-11-08 10:28

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03), Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee, delivered the following remarks on the House Floor in opposition to H.R. 4664, the fiscal year 2024 Financial Services and General Government bill:

Thank you Chairman Womack, Ranking Member Hoyer, and the subcommittee staff, especially Matt Smith and Philip Tizzani, for all the work that you do.

This Financial Services and General Government bill put forth by the majority is unacceptable. The Republicans propose cutting critical agencies the American people depend on for a stable, secure, safe, and fair economy by a staggering 58 percent.

My colleagues across the aisle often claim to support things like law and order, economic competition, and protecting children. Yet their actions, demonstrated by this bill, suggest otherwise.

Cuts to the Small Business Administration would cut off assistance and resources that help small businesses start, grow, and compete.

Cuts to the Securities and Exchange Commission would benefit market manipulators and inside traders over families saving for retirement.

Cuts to the Federal Trade Commission would levy higher prices on Americans and make seniors more prone to be victimized by scammers.

Cuts to the Consumer Product Safety Commission would enable dangerous products to hit store shelves and enter our homes, potentially harming our children.

And finally, cuts to the Internal Revenue Service would protect tax cheats over honest, hard-working families. We know an underfunded, understaffed, and overwhelmed IRS means the wealthiest billionaires and corporations avoid paying taxes. According to Secretary Yellen, “In 2019, the top one percent of Americans was estimated to owe over one-fifth of unpaid taxes, leaving ordinary Americans to shoulder the burden.” End quote. Furthermore, in 2021, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy found that at least 55 of the largest corporations in America – in a year they saw over $40 billion in pretax income – had paid no federal corporate income taxes. Corporations like Nike, Hewlett Packard, and Dish Network, paid zero federal income taxes.

Treasury recently announced that, thanks to resources provided in the Inflation Reduction Act, the IRS is pursuing back taxes owed from about 1,600 taxpayers with incomes over $1,000,000. They have so far closed 100 of those cases, collecting $122 million since September. That is not a tax increase. That is collecting revenue legally owed.

My colleagues on the other side of the aisle frame the debt as a problem of our investments in the American people. We have a revenue problem, and they refuse to let the IRS collect legally owed taxes from their billionaire and corporate friends to address this problem.

Disadvantaging small businesses; Making seniors susceptible to scammers; Exposing children to dangerous products; Rigging the stock market for the well-connected and wealthiest. We cannot stand for this.

Earlier this year I met with SBA Administrator Guzman – the Small Business Administration is extraordinarily concerned with how they will provide the resources America’s entrepreneurs rely on to help their businesses start and grow if the cuts in this bill are enacted. These small businesses are an essential part of the American economy and core to the financial security of our middle class – and they define Main Streets in neighborhoods across the country.

This bill not only slashes funding for the Internal Revenue Service by $1.1 billion but claws back more than $10 billion in funding provided in the Inflation Reduction Act. This is on top of the cuts to the IRS the majority is pursuing as a condition for providing aid to Israel, and in addition to $57 billion in cuts to the IRS’s Inflation Reduction Act funding in the other 11 appropriations bills.

These cuts would rob the Treasury of $130 billion and hand it directly to billionaires, the biggest corporations, fraudsters, and tax cheats – that’s not according to me, that’s according to the Congressional Budget Office.

I have heard my colleagues on the other side of the aisle talk about wanting to be “tough on China” and yet, this bill includes no funding for the Administration’s efforts to restrict outbound investment in countries that threaten our national security. The majority is giving a green light to the potential offshoring of critical United States’ supply chains to foreign adversaries like China and Russia.

And of course, the majority does not stop there. They have included dozens of problematic and pointless riders, including prohibitions on the SEC’s climate disclosure rule, prohibitions on health care and abortion, and micromanaging the District of Columbia’s traffic laws at a level that is petty and deserves derision.

The Financial Services and General Government bill is central to effectively running the federal government and providing services to the American people. The majority’s bill instead focuses on protecting the tax dollars and priorities of billionaires and big corporations.

For all these reasons, I cannot support this bill.

I yield back.


118th Congress