House Approves Debt Limit Bill with Damaging Cuts to Federal Agencies
This week, the House of Representatives approved legislation that would temporarily increase the debt limit in exchange for, among other things, capping FY 2024 funding to last year’s level, severely limiting future increases, and rescinding more than $71 billion of the $80 billion provided to the IRS in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA).
The bill, H.R. 2811, would have a devastating impact on the ability of NTEU-represented agencies to provide critical services to the American people. Following years of budget cuts that led to staffing shortages and hampered the ability of many NTEU-represented agencies to meet their missions, Congress has worked to provide additional critical funding to agencies. he cuts proposed in this legislation would reverse recent progress and undermine the ability of the government to continue providing many of the essential services Americans rely on.
Additionally, following funding cuts that saw the IRS budget decrease by almost 20 percent on an inflation-adjusted basis since FY 2010, Congress approved the IRA which provided the agency with nearly $80 billion in long-term funding to ensure it had the resources to rebuild its depleted workforce, improve customer service and generate much needed revenue that can be used to reduce the deficit or pay for other priorities. Taxpayers are already seeing the benefits of this historic investment during the current filing season and without the critical funding provided in the IRA, recent progress in improving service to taxpayers will be reversed and the IRS will lack the resources necessary to maximize taxpayer compliance.
While it is critical that Congress act to suspend or raise the debt limit to prevent a default, NTEU strongly opposes tying the debt limit to caps to discretionary funding at insufficient levels in FY 2024 and future years, and rescinding billions in dedicated funding for the IRS under the IRA. That is why in advance of House consideration, NTEU sent a letter to every member of the House urging them to oppose this misguided legislation.
While this legislation passed the House, Senate leaders have announced they have no intention of considering it. You can be assured we will continue working with our allies in Congress to highlight the adverse impact that funding cuts have on the agencies, the importance of ensuring the IRS is able to retain the additional long-term funding provided under the IRA and the need to provide sufficient funding to all agencies so they can continue to serve the American people.