Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia said that Democrats are assembling a new armed Internal Revenue Service (IRS) “force” that will target small-business owners.
Greene said on Friday that the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which is expected soon due to the bill recently being backed by moderate Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, would provide $80 billion in funds to help the IRS establish a new force to target middle -income Americans and small businesses. While the bill does provide nearly $80 billion in IRS funding over the next decade, some of which could be used to hire new employees, the money is not expected to be used to establish a new armed force.
On Friday, Greene tweeted“87,000 IRS agents will be hired with $80 billion taxpayer dollars when the Senate Reconciliation bill passes this weekend. And they’re buying more guns & ammo too. Lower to middle income Americans & small businesses will be the primary targets of Democrat’s new IRS force.”
Greene is not the only prominent conservative to suggest that the IRS is stockpiling weapons and ammunition as part of a plan to unleash an armed tax collection force. Fox News host Tucker Carlson urged his viewers to be “very worried” that the government is “treating the IRS as a military agency” on Thursday night.
“In 2018, the Government Accountability Office reported that more than 2,000 IRS enforcement agents have more than 4,000 weapons,” he told Tucker Carlson Tonight viewer. “Guns. That kill people, remember? The IRS is also stockpiling more than 5 million rounds of ammunition.”
While the IRS has acquired guns and ammunition for its existing Criminal Investigations Division, the practice is not new and has consistently occurred during the administrations of both Democrats and Republicans.
The IRS division includes around 2,500 special agents who are able to carry firearms. Agents have been armed since the division was established in 1919.
The armed agents do not exist to forcefully collect the unpaid taxes of typical American taxpayers. Instead, they typically focus on investigating the tax violations of those involved in serious criminal activities, such as money laundering, drug trafficking and organized crime.
While the Inflation Reduction Act does include money to enforce the collection of unpaid taxes, most IRS enforcement activities do not involve armed agents. There is also no evidence of any plans to specifically target middle-income Americans and small-business owners.
Greene’s claim that the bill will lead to the hiring of 87,000 new IRS agents appears to be based on the Biden administration estimating last year that 87,000 new IRS employees, not just agents, could be hired over a decade.
Last month, Greene joined three GOP colleagues, including Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida, to introduce a bill called the “Disarm the IRS Act,” which would block to agency from acquiring more ammunition.
news week has reached out to the IRS for comment.