The FBI’s search last week of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate has helped fuel GOP attacks on Democrats’ newly passed Inflation Reduction Act and its $80 billion in additional funding for the Internal Revenue Service.
The Washington Post’s Mariana Sotomayor reports:
“[A]s Republicans work to find their message in the days after their standard-bearer’s Florida residence was searched by the FBI, the verbal attacks on federal law enforcement have become enmeshed with another talking point tied to a totally different issue: the idea that Democrats are supercharging a tax agency to surveil regular Americans.
“Both issues came to a head last week as House Republicans returned to Washington to vote against the Inflation Reduction Act days after the search at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property, riling up supporters by conjoining the two issues as examples of extreme federal government overreach by Democrats. …
“While Republican members have stretched the truth about what the funding would do, the talking points are unlikely to go away.”
Another line of GOP criticism: The Hill’s Emily Brooks also notes that Republicans have sought to link the new IRS funding with Trump supporters’ outrage about the FBI search, feeding anti-government sentiment by suggesting that if the feds could go after the former president they could come after anyone.
Brooks adds, though, that some Republicans have also made a different argument: That the tax code should be simplified so that the IRS doesn’t need billions more dollars for enforcement.
“It’s kind of unnecessary,” Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) told reporters last week. “If you think that … the tax code is so complicated and difficult to enforce, then maybe simplify the tax code. That would be the proper solution to that instead of just trying to catch Middle America in their mistakes, which you obviously will make if you do your own taxes. It’s pretty difficult.”