House Republicans under the leadership of Kevin McCarthy are ready to get to work protecting taxpayers.
The voters have spoken. They’ve fired Nancy Pelosi as House speaker and delivered a Republican House majority. The most important job now for House Republicans is to ensure Biden’s tax-and-spend agenda runs into a brick wall. (RELATED: HANS VON SPAKOVSKY: Republicans Can Thank The Federal Gov’s Bungled Census For Their Razor-Thin House Majority)
Republicans will rely upon a razor-thin, five seat majority where party unity and competence from leadership will be paramount. If they can stick together, the House Republican Conference can reverse course on the Democrat-inflicted damage done to taxpayers over the past two years.
We can do more than just stop the bleeding. There are policy wins to be had if the right fights on strong ground. Republicans are well positioned to rollback the 87,000 new Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents Democrats unleashed to ramp up audit fishing expeditions of small businesses and individuals.
McCarthy is rightly vowing to take on Biden’s supercharged IRS as the top issue for the GOP.
“On our very first bill, we’re going to repeal 87,000 IRS agents. Our job is to work for you, not go after you,” McCarthy announced during Republicans’ rollout of their Commitment to America agenda.
GOP leadership is backing up their words with action. McCarthy recently released a detailed agenda for oversight next Congress focused on reigning in IRS abuse.
It’s been 555 days since private taxpayer information was leaked to the left-wing media outlet ProPublica. Democrats have held precisely zero hearings investigating the source of the illegal theft from the IRS. Similarly, Democrats have failed to provide answers as to why the IRS destroyed 30 million active taxpayer documents or hold any hearings on the matter.
McCarthy’s oversight agenda targets unlawful leaks of private taxpayer data and IRS abuse of section 6103 authority — handing over private tax private tax information — without prosecution. Stopping the IRS’s politicization and abuse of power will restore faith in Congress and demonstrate Republicans ability to govern.
House Republicans will also fight to make the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) permanent.
Major TCJA provisions are set to expire in 2025. Expiring provisions include the reduction in individual rates, the nearly doubled standard deduction and the increased child tax credit. Most Americans are set to see a tax increase if the 2017 Republican tax cuts aren’t made permanent.
House Republicans have made clear that TCJA permanency will be a top priority next Congress, having introduced legislation with the support of every Republican on the Ways and Means Committee as a key pillar of McCarthy’s Commitment to America.
Republicans have a proven playbook to follow to win this fight and secure tax cuts even with a Democrat Senate and White House. In 2012, with a Republican House, Democrat Senate and Democrat White House, Congress made permanent roughly 82% of the Bush tax cuts that were set to expire.
McCarthy was part of the House leadership team that secured tax cuts in 2012. He’s won this fight before. Proven leadership will be vital to securing tax cuts this time around, as it relies upon a far smaller Republican majority.
To further complicate matters, Republicans’ thin majority is built upon the electoral victories of moderate members from New York and California. These members from high-tax, Democrat-run states are likely to have significant political concerns with the cap on State and Local Tax (SALT) deductions implemented in TCJA to fund tax cuts. The SALT cap will likely be the main political obstacle for House Republican efforts to pass TCJA permanency next Congress.
As Speaker, McCarthy — a California Republican himself — is particularly well-suited for understanding the SALT dynamic and navigating the political concerns of these members. As majority leader when tax cuts were passed in 2017, McCarthy marshalled the votes for the largest legislative victory of the Trump administration.
He did so while overcoming his own local political liability surrounding the SALT cap. This makes McCarthy a strategically wise choice for speaker for Republicans focused on passing tax cuts and overcoming the SALT cap hurdle.
A united Republican House conference remains the last, best hope to stop Biden’s tax-hiking agenda in its tracks and reversing course on the damage of Democrat rule in Washington.
McCarthy has outlined a clear and viable agenda to pursue as speaker that curbs inflation, reigns in President Joe Biden’s IRS and provides a path to securing tax cuts for American taxpayers.
It’s time for House Republicans to rally behind McCarthy and his agenda as speaker.
Grover Norquist is the President of Americans for Tax Reform
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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