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Senate Infrastructure Bill Drops IRS Funding Provision: GOP Senator

Senators dropped plans to help fund the approximately $1 trillion infrastructure package via a proposed boost to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)’s ability to collect taxes, according to a key negotiator.

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who is one of the negotiators, told CNN on Sunday that the “IRS reform or IRS tax gap, which was originally in the proposal … will no longer be in our proposal.” Portman said some Republican lawmakers pushed back against the proposal and said it would allow for more government overreach.

“It will be in the larger reconciliation bill, we’re told,” he said.

Details about what new powers the IRS might be given under the reconciliation bill are not yet clear.

Democrats and Republicans have spent weeks trying to hash out the infrastructure deal but have struggled to come up with ways to fund it and not add to the already ballooning national deficit.

Democrats hope to pass the bill via reconciliation, without Republican support, under budget rules that allow them to proceed with just a simple majority, which would require them to use the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris.

In Sunday’s interview, Portman suggested that there are other possible funding sources, including a rule on Medicare rebates.

“We have a number of pay-fors,” Portman said. “And that’s important, that it be paid for.”

The $1 trillion infrastructure bill, which is backed by President Joe Biden, will require 60 votes in the Senate to proceed. That means it would require at least 10 Republicans assuming all Democrats back it.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced last week that the first procedural step on the infrastructure package will be taken on Monday, setting up a Wednesday vote.

But one Republican lawmaker, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), said it’s not clear if the Senate can reach 60 votes.

“How can I vote for cloture when the bill isn’t written?” Cassidy told Fox News on Sunday. “Unless Senator Schumer doesn’t want this to happen, you need a little more time to get it right.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) last week stated she will not bring up the bipartisan infrastructure bill to the House floor until the reconciliation bill is passed in the Senate. That led to backlash from both Republicans and Democrats.

“We strongly urge—and pledge to work with you to bring about—a House vote on this legislation before the August recess and without any unnecessary or artificial delay upon arrival from the Senate,” a coalition of 10 House Democrats said in a letter released on July 15.

Reuters contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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