House passes $20B bill cutting IRS tax enforcement

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 16, 2014 at 8:40 pm •  Published: July 16, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — The GOP-controlled House passed a $20 billion measure Wednesday that would slash budgets for enforcing tax laws and new financial regulations, and a healthy food initiative that's a pet cause of first lady Michelle Obama.

The House passed the bill on a nearly party-line, 228-195, vote.

Companion legislation has yet to advance in the Senate and the White House has promised a veto of the House bill for numerous reasons, including a provision that would block the Internal Revenue Service from enforcing the mandate on individuals to buy health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

The GOP-drafted measure denies the administration's $35 million request to help community development banks finance projects aimed at making healthy foods more available in neighborhoods that lack grocery stores.

The measure is one of the more obscure of the 12 annual spending bills funding the Treasury Department, the IRS, White House staff and operations, and the Securities and Exchange Commission's regulation of the financial sector.

It contains a host of legislative riders that are catnip for conservatives. They include blocking new IRS regulations that could deny tea party groups and others tax-exempt status and block the government of the District of Columbia from financing Medicaid abortions or needle exchange programs.

On Wednesday, the House adopted an amendment by Kentucky GOP Rep. Thomas Massie that would limit the District of Columbia government from enforcing gun laws passed the wake of the 2008 Supreme Court decision that overturned the city's handgun ban. The ordinances impose hurdles to gun ownership such as fees and fingerprinting. The city's non-voting delegate, Democrat Eleanor Holmes Norton, warned that the amendment could have far more sweeping effects.