Congressman Seeks to Strip IRS of ‘Guns and Badges’
With ongoing feuds between the IRS and Congress increasing the uncertainty of annual funding for the IRS criminal investigation unit, two congressmen are pushing to reassign the agents to the U.S. Treasury.
A fight that began over alleged IRS scrutiny of conservative nonprofit groups applying for tax-exempt status has grown into ever-increasing scrutiny of the IRS by Congress.
A bill introduced Thursday by U.S. Rep. George Holding, R-Raleigh, would “take the guns and badges away from the IRS,” he said.
“These are the IRS agents that carry guns and badges, and they’re very skilled…but the IRS itself is a failed bureaucracy,” Holding said in an interview with McClatchy on Tuesday.
These IRS CI agents investigate crimes like money laundering, terrorism financing, and U.S. tax-evasion schemes that often include a web of offshore foreign accounts.
According to the IRS-CI annual report, agents investigated over 3,850 cases from October 2014 to October 2015.
Holding said he is not worried about the quality of work produced by the agents themselves, but the failures of IRS operations at large.
While the IRS is already under the umbrella of the Treasury, the bill stipulates creating a new entity called the “Bureau of Criminal Investigation.”
“They shouldn’t be entrusted with a law enforcement agency within them,” Holding said. “This is the first substantive step toward dismantling the IRS.”
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