House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) recently sent a sternly worded letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen demanding to know how the agency intends to hire 700 new federal employees after Koskinen testified before Congress that the IRS needed a budget increase to hire employees.
Chaffetz quoted in the letter several instances from Koskinen’s testimony to Congress earlier in the year in which he implied that the IRS lacked the funds to hire new employees.
Chaffetz wrote, “The sum of your testimony before Congress in February was that the IRS urgently needed the billion dollar budget increase in order to increase enforcement activities. Now, less than three months later, without that increase, you have announced plans to increase enforcement activities. The inescapable conclusion is that your testimony to Congress was inaccurate, reflecting either an attempt to exaggerate IRS’s budget needs or a management failure in understanding the needs of your organization.”
Consequently, Chaffetz is asking Koskinen to show proof of the IRS’s ability to pay for the 700 new employees no later than May 20.
The House’s contempt for Koskinen is nothing new. After introducing a resolution to have him impeached last fall, the House voted on and passed several bills (just in time for Tax Day) that were aimed at making personnel reforms at IRS. Even if the bills were to make it through Congress, the White House has gone on record as opposing them which almost certainly means that President Obama would veto them.
A copy of the letter is included below.