Republicans announced Monday that the fiscal year 2017 spending bill they hope to pass this week would freeze total IRS spending at $11.2 billion, which would hold that agency's funding to below its 2008 level.
Republicans have either cut funding or held funding level for the IRS over the last several years, after the IRS targeting scandal erupted under President Obama. The IRS admitted it had been slow-walking applications from right-leaning groups that were seeking tax-exempt status.
A summary of the bill provided by the House Appropriations Committee said the frozen spending level will still provide "sufficient resources to perform its core duties."
For example, it said $2.1 billion would be provided for taxpayer services, the same as fiscal year 2016.
But the committee made it clear that there are still problems at the IRS, and that it would be a mistake to boost spending by the agency.
"The IRS has been plagued in recent years by the inappropriate actions of its employees and political leadership, resulting in the waste of taxpayer dollars and in unjust treatment and targeting of certain ideological groups," it said.
Among other things, the bill would prohibit funding for bonuses or to rehire former employees "unless employee conduct and tax compliance is given consideration." Republicans have said dozens of IRS employees are delinquent in their tax payments, which needs to be corrected if they are going to be charged with collecting others' taxes.
The bill would also block funding for the IRS to target groups based on their ideology, and would keep a ban on funding for wasteful videos and conferences that the IRS used to splurge on.