The IRS Refuses

House Ways and Means Committee chairman Jason Smith (R, MO) and Committee member David Schweikert (R, AZ) are pressing IRS Commissioner David Werfel for information regarding the IRS’ destruction of 30 million tax documents two years ago. They’ve sent a letter to Werfel

asking for the memorandum that explained the recommendation for the “unprocessed, paper-filed informational returns.”

Schweikert told Just the NewsThe Center Square

[W]e’ve never been able to get a satisfactory answer from the IRS of why this was done was done, and is that policy that allowed it to happen? Is there a way to make sure this never happens again?

The IRS is being its usual uncooperative self, though:

The committee is looking for the memo by August 8, but the tax agency has not complied with previous requests for additional information. For example, the committee asked for the memo on May 17, 2022, but the IRS said on May 18, 2022, it would be too risky and declined to provide it, according to the letter.

The IRS isn’t the only Federal agency that refuses to cooperate. The DoJ is famous for its uncooperativeness, and so are State and DoD. There are others. DoJ is especially egregious because it just as routinely refuses to enforce Congressional subpoenas.

There is another way for Congress to get cooperation, or at least to sanction the agencies refusing to cooperate. Congress can apply the Holman Rule to reduce, even eliminate, the salaries of individual Federal employees who refuse. Congress can reduce, even eliminate, funding for the agency that refuses, or whose personnel refuse, to cooperate.

Congress should stop dickering over the matter, too. Immediately on first refusal, one of both of the above measures should be undertaken.

That, though, takes more political courage than too many incumbent Congressmen have so far demonstrated.

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