The Senate passed a package of four appropriations bills, including roughly $11.3 billion in fiscal year 2019 funding for the IRS.
The Senate package, which passed 92-6 earlier this week, would give the IRS about $350 million less than the House agreed to last month. Both bills include about $77 million in additional funding specifically to implement the 2017 tax law.
The Senate has now passed seven of the 12 appropriations bills it is supposed to pass before October. Senate leaders, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) are steering clear of any controversial riders on funding bills, including an amendment this week that would have weakened the Johnson Amendment, the longstanding rule that prohibits tax-exempt charities and churches from endorsing or opposing political candidates.
“I hope my colleagues are encouraged by what’s happening here, by what we are accomplishing together,” Shelby said. “Moving these bills in this way is the right to do – not only for this institution but for our country.”
“This is the way the Senate is supposed to work: regular order,” agreed Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT). “The House, unfortunately, is pursuing a different path. They are taking up partisan bills filled with poison pill riders that cannot and will not pass the Senate. If our progress is to continue, the bills that come out of conference must be bills that can pass the Senate, which means they must be free of poison pills.”