While on her way to Zambia, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen praised Congress’s approval of $80 billion for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), but stated the agency is in need of a complete makeover.
“I’m excited about legislation that’s passed and I want to make sure that it makes the difference it should make, and that includes the IRS,” Yellen told Reuters. “That agency needs to be completely redone, and it’s a big task.”
Rebuilding the IRS, she stated, would be one of her top priorities in the years to come.
It’s a goal that will certainly be challenged by Republicans, who used their first vote since regaining the majority in the House of Representatives to rescind more than $70 billion in funding to the IRS.
IRS loses $70 billion in one swoophttps://t.co/BOwYASpW3z
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) January 10, 2023
It was money for which Yellen “lobbied hard,” Reuters reports. Money that would have gone toward the hiring of 87,000 new IRS employees to deal with what Yellen said were massive problems within the agency, not the least of which is a “huge backlog” of tax returns.
It was legislation like the Inflation Reduction Act, in which the funding for the IRS was buried among a host of multi-billion-dollar climate-related agendas, that prompted Yellen to stay on as Treasury secretary, despite months of rumors that she’d step down mid-way through President Biden’s first term in office.
“I want to see that work progress,” the 76-year-old Yellen said. “Maybe it’s not the sexiest kind of stuff in the world, but I think if you want to make a difference in the world, you have to have the follow-through.”
With Congress now split, she knows that pushing Biden’s agenda through legislation will be more difficult, but it’s more fun than knitting, so she’ll stick with the job then-President-elect Biden nominated her to do in November 2020.
“This is probably the last job I’ll have,” she said. “I’d much rather be doing this than sitting at home knitting sweaters, or whatever it is one does when one’s retired.”
And, yes, Reuters did confirm that Yellen knitted a “lovely tennis sweater” for her Nobel Prize-winning economist hubby, George Akerlof.
She is not too keen on dealing with Congress’s debate over raising the debts ceiling, however.
When asked about it, “Yellen simply puts her hand to her forehead and sighs,” says Reuters.
One of the major concessions from Speaker Kevin McCarthy won by the Freedom Caucus, who held out for 15 votes before giving him the gavel, was a promise to “tie spending cuts to any increase in the debt ceiling,” BizPac Review reported last week.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) January 19, 2023
California Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell predicted his party would “go around” McCarthy to fund Ukraine and raise the debt ceiling.
“I think you’re going to see speaker discharge,” Swalwell told MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace. “The country is going to learn that word because a discharge petition, the worst named political term you could think of, means that if you get a majority of the Congress to come forward to support legislation, you can go around the speaker, I think we’ll have to go around the speaker to do all of that.”
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