Washington D.C. – Critical taxpayer services would be lost under fiscal year 2024 budget cuts approved today by a House subcommittee and opposed by the National Treasury Employees Union.
The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government passed a government spending bill today, over the objections of Democrats, that would slash several agency budgets back below the funding levels they received in fiscal years 2022 and 2023.
“It is disingenuous to pretend that these cuts won’t impact the government’s ability to serve taxpayers,” said NTEU National President Tony Reardon. “This bill targets some of the most important things a government can do for its people and its economy, including protecting consumers from fraud, enforcing the rules to safeguard investors, and helping individuals and businesses comply with the tax code.”
NTEU represents frontline employees at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Securities and Exchange Commission, Internal Revenue Service, Treasury Department, Bureau of Fiscal Service and Federal Communications Commission, all of which would face deep cuts under this legislation.
The Republican summary of the bill also includes inflammatory rhetoric that is alarming to the civil servants around the country who work for the IRS. The IRS workforce, which lost about 20,000 employees over a decade of cuts imposed by Republicans, is not a “supercharged army” of agents, but a workforce of nonpartisan, trained professionals who chose a career in public service. The agency is just now starting to rebuild with the long-term investments provided by the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, and the result was a significant improvement in customer service during this year’s tax filing season and a reduction in many of the agency’s backlogs.
“To call investments in the IRS ‘wasteful’ is to turn a blind eye to the progress the agency has made in less than a year, which includes more taxpayer phone calls being answered, fewer delays in processing tax returns and an overall improvement in the IRS’ ability to enforce the tax code, fully and fairly, for all,” Reardon said. “For those who want to weaken the agency’s ability to scrutinize the tax returns of billionaires and make it harder for regular Americans to get the free, professional help they need with their returns, this bill is for you.”
In addition to reversing the gains of the last two years in the financial services sector, the GOP bill is especially destructive of the agencies and policies that support the federal workforce itself, including cuts to the Office of Personnel Management and an unjustified rollback of telework that eligible employees have used successfully for years.
“The common thread throughout this legislation is that federal employees are expendable and don’t deserve the resources and support they need to get the job done,” Reardon said. “NTEU will continue to fight for federal agencies to have the personnel, technology and resources necessary to meet the needs of the American people.”
NTEU represents employees in 34 federal agencies and offices.