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Budd Proposes Amendment to Hire More Border Patrol, ICE Agents Instead of IRS Agents

U.S. Rep. Ted Budd, R-North Carolina Woody Marshall / AP.
U.S. Rep. Ted Budd, R-North Carolina Woody Marshall / AP.

U.S. Rep. Ted Budd, R-N.C., has proposed an amendment to the Democrats' $740 billion Inflation Reduction Act to redirect funding currently allocated to hire 87,000 new IRS agents to instead hire at least 20,000 more Border Patrol and ICE agents.

“Instead of hiring 87,000 more IRS agents to treat working families like tax cheats, that funding should be directed to the crisis on the southern border,” Budd said. “In FY2022, there have been over 500,000 ‘got-aways’ at the border, and 8,400 pounds of fentanyl has been seized. We should be devoting more resources to the Biden Border Crisis, instead of making life harder for working families who are struggling under the weight of the Biden Recession.”

His amendment would redirect nearly $69 billion initially allocated by Senate Democrats to the Internal Revenue Service to fund a range of border security measures.

The amendment would allocate $25 billion to finish building the border wall initially begun under President Donald Trump. It includes provisions from his Build the Wall Now Act to ensure the funds would immediately go to border wall construction. This includes funding a range of projects, including building physical barriers, tactical infrastructure, investing in advanced technology, among other measures.

It also would codify previously waived legal requirements to ensure that no laws or regulations could be used to prohibit the construction of physical barriers, tactical infrastructure and technology in the future.

To enhance security measures, the amendment also would allocate about $20.2 billion to hire 10,000 more border patrol agents and about $20.1 billion to hire 10,000 more ICE Enforcement and Removal agents.

To reduce a backlog in the immigration court system, it also would allocate $3.87 billion to hire 366 immigration judges to adjudicate pending cases, which would bring the total to 1,000. It also would increase the number of Board of Immigration Appeals attorneys by 60 as well as provide them with the support staff they need.

His amendment would retain $15 million of the original allocation for the IRS to create a free e-file system.

With Democrats holding a slight majority in the House, the amendment has little chance of passing.

Earlier this week, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that Republican claims about increased IRS audits targeting the middle class were false.

“This is just the latest example, again, of those who do nothing to protect tax welfare for the rich at the expense of everything else,” she said on Air Force One. “They’re blatant lies.”

According to an analysis of the nonpartisan Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, nearly all Americans would see increased taxes by 2023. The average tax rates would increase in nearly all income categories, according to its analysis, including lower income individuals such as those earning less than $10,000.

Former IRS commissioner under Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump, John Koskinen, said the amount allocated to fund the IRS by the Democrats was too much. He told The New York Times, “I’m not sure you’d be able to efficiently use that much money.” He recommended an additional $25 billion over a decade to enable the IRS to hire enforcement agents, three times less than what Democrats proposed.

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