GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) – Rep. Ted Budd (R-Advance) wants to make a change to the Inflation Reduction Act by moving designated funding from growing the IRS to expanding barriers to illegal immigration.
The House is expected to vote Friday on the bill passed Sunday by the Senate. Expectations are that the Democratic majority will ensure passage and send the bill to President Joe Biden. Vice President Kamala Harris broke a 50-50 tie with her vote in the Senate.
But even though Democrats are expected to pass the bill, that doesn’t stop the possibility of amendments – such as the one in the Senate that blocked a national cap on the price of insulin – that must be heard in the House if not actually adopted.
Budd, who represents the 13th Congressional District, wants to redirect the $69 billion allocated to expanding the IRS to increase hardline aspects of border security, including the wall that former President Donald Trump had promoted before and during his presidency. As of 2021, about 40 miles of replacement wall had been constructed along the Arizona border.
The bill as adopted in the Senate largely is designed to fight climate change, reduce consumer drug prices and expand access to help care while also setting a 15% minimum corporate tax rate, changing some deductions that affect the wealthy and hiring some 87,000 IRS agents to ensure all revenue is collected. The bill calls for $300 billion in new revenue and a reduction in the deficit.
But Budd prefers, among other things, to hire border agents, judges and immigration attorneys rather than tax accountants. His specifics are:
- Provide $25 billion to build the border wall.
- Include his Build the Wall Now Act to ensure the money will immediately go toward border wall construction.
- Provide $20.177 billion to hire 10,000 more border-patrol agents.
- Provide $20.07 billion to hire 10,000 more ICE Enforcement and Removal agents.
- Provide $3.87 billion to hire 366 immigration judges (to a total of 1,000) and hire 60 staff attorneys for the Board of Immigration Appeals.
- Retain $15 million for the IRS to create a free e-file system.
Budd, who is the GOP nominee to face Democrat Cheri Beasley in the race to be North Carolina’s next senator, cited the number of immigrants who have escaped capture and entered the U.S. and the amount of fentanyl that has been seized at the border.
“Instead of hiring 87,000 more IRS agents to treat working families like tax cheats, that funding should be directed to the crisis on the Southern border,” he said in promoting his amendment. “We should be devoting more resources to the Biden Border Crisis, instead of making life harder for working families who are struggling under the weight of the Biden Recession.”
North Carolina Democrats attacked Budd for being opposed to the reduction in prescription prices included in the bill. In a release, they cited an appearance on Fox News to promote incentives for the pharmaceutical industry and a radio interview that suggested he was OK with how things were working now.
“It is becoming clearer and clearer by the day that Congressman Budd is nothing more than a corrupt career politician that will repeatedly vote in the interest of his corporate backers like Big Pharma instead of doing what’s best for North Carolinians,” NCDP spokesperson Kate Frauenfelder said in a release.