Business & Economy

On The Money — IRS chief calls for reinforcements

Happy Thursday and welcome to On The Money, your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line. Subscribe here: digital-stage.thehill.com/newsletter-signup.

Today’s Big Deal: A Trump appointee atop the IRS is calling on Congress to support President Biden’s proposal to bolster the agency.  We’ll also look at Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-W.Va.) objection to another Biden tax provision and an update on the insider trading probe into Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.).

But first, a disconcerting update on Subway tuna.

For The Hill, I’m Sylvan Lane. Write me at slane@digital-stage.thehill.com or @SylvanLane. You can reach my colleagues on the Finance team Naomi Jagoda at njagoda@digital-stage.thehill.com or @NJagoda and Aris Folley at afolley@digital-stage.thehill.com or @ArisFolley.

Let’s get to it.

IRS head to Congress: Back $80B boost 

IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig on Thursday urged Congress to support the Biden administration’s proposal to provide the agency with an additional $80 billion over 10 years, a measure expected to be included in Democrats’ social-spending package.

“The funding proposal offers a historic opportunity to help the IRS help others,” Rettig, a Republican appointed by former President Trump, wrote in a Washington Post op-ed. “Congress must act.”

  • One way that Democrats are seeking to help pay for their social-spending package is by giving the IRS an additional $80 billion over the course of a decade to modernize the agency’s technology and strengthen its enforcement efforts against high-income households. 
  • The Biden administration initially proposed this funding increase earlier this year, and the proposal is also included in the most recent version of House Democrats’ bill.
  • But Republicans have resisted attempts to bolster IRS funding after cutting the agency’s budget while they controlled the federal government.

Rettig said in his op-ed that the IRS is challenged by the fact that it has limited resources and an increasing amount of responsibility. He noted that the budget constraints make it more challenging for the IRS to go after wealthy individuals and corporations who aren’t pay the taxes they owe.

Naomi explains here.

LEADING THE DAY

Manchin objects to tax credit for union-made EVs in spending package

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) expressed opposition to a provision in Democrats’ climate and social spending bill that would give additional tax credits for union-built electric vehicles (EVs). 

  • A version of the legislation released by the House would provide customers a $7,500 tax credit for new EVs, with an additional $4,500 credit if the vehicle is made in the U.S. by union workers.
  • Manchin objected to the $4,500 credit for union-built vehicles. 

“When I heard about this, what they were putting in the bill, I went right to the sponsor [Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.] and I said, ‘This is wrong. This can’t happen. It’s not who we are as a country. It’s not how we built this country, and the product should speak for itself,’ ” Manchin told Automotive News at an event where Toyota announced a $240 million investment in the company’s West Virginia plant.

The background: Automakers with nonunion workforces such as Toyota, Honda and Tesla have criticized the additional credit as unfair. Meanwhile, the United Auto Workers union has praised it as supportive of good working conditions. 

Rachel Frazin has more here.

 

TRADER WOES

Burr brother-in-law ordered to testify in insider trading probe

Sen. Richard Burr’s (R-N.C.) brother-in-law, Gerald Fauth, has been ordered to testify in an insider trading probe that is investigating stock sales he and the senator made before the market plummeted as COVID-19 was starting to spread in the U.S.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced in a statement on Wednesday that U.S. District Judge Andrew Carter Jr. granted the agency the authority to enforce a subpoena against Fauth to compel him to testify in the probe.

He was initially issued an investigative subpoena in May of last year requesting his testimony but failed to comply, citing health concerns.

Mychael Schnell has more here.

Good to Know 

A conservative group focused on combating President Biden’s economic agenda on Thursday launched a $100,000 ad campaign targeting five Democratic lawmakers over rising consumer prices.

Here’s what else have our eye on:

  • Elon Musk is selling more than 930,000 shares of Tesla stock, according to financial disclosure documents published on Wednesday, a sale that is worth more than $1.1 billion and was initiated on Sept. 14, before the CEO surveyed Twitter users about his stock holdings.
  • Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) is calling for TikTok to disclose information about its algorithm and the videos shown to minors on the platform.

 

That’s it for today. Thanks for reading and check out The Hill’s Finance page for the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you Friday.

Tags Debbie Stabenow Donald Trump Elon Musk Joe Biden Joe Manchin Raja Krishnamoorthi Richard Burr

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File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

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In this photo released by the Governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev telegram channel, a rescuer gestures as he helps people during an evacuation after storm and flooding in Sevastopol, Crimea, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. A storm in the Black Sea took down power grids and left almost half a million people without power after it flooded roads, ripped up trees and damaged buildings in Crimea, Russian state news agency Tass said. (Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev's telegram channel via AP)
In this photo released by the Governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev telegram channel, a rescuer gestures as he helps people during an evacuation after storm and flooding in Sevastopol, Crimea, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. A storm in the Black Sea took down power grids and left almost half a million people without power after it flooded roads, ripped up trees and damaged buildings in Crimea, Russian state news agency Tass said. (Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev's telegram channel via AP)

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