The Trump-appointed head of the Internal Revenue Service has ordered a security review of all offices after recent Republican criticism.
Commissioner Charles Rettig Tuesday announced a full security review for all 600 IRS facilities after Congress gave the agency $80 billion.
The large infusion of money for the IRS was included in the so-called Inflation Reduction Act President Joe Biden recently signed.
The Washington Post further reported:
“We see what’s out there in terms of social media. Our workforce is concerned about their safety,” Rettig told The Washington Post in an interview. “The comments being made are extremely disrespectful to the agency, to the employees and to the country.”
In a letter to employees sent Tuesday, he wrote that the agency would conduct risk assessments for each of the IRS’s 600 facilities and evaluate whether to increase security patrols along building exteriors, boost designations for restricted areas, examine security around entrances and assess exterior lighting. It will be the agency’s first such review since the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995, which killed 168 people.
“For me this is personal,” Rettig wrote in the letter, which was obtained by The Post. “I’ll continue to make every effort to dispel any lingering misperceptions about our work. And I will continue to advocate for your safety in every venue where I have an audience. You go above and beyond every single day, and I am honored to work with each of you.”
The IRS is set to receive $80 billion in fresh funding over 10 years as part of President Biden’s landmark Inflation Reduction Act. The money is designed to help the agency increase scrutiny of tax cheats and increase enforcement on high-income earners and major corporations, including a large hiring push to help the IRS make up for more than a decade of underfunding.
But Republicans have seized on the funding for the tax collector to attack the law, which also includes funding to address the climate crisis and lower health-care costs. GOP members of Congress have falsely claimed that many of the agency’s 87,000 new hires will be armed and that the new enforcement steps will be aimed at low- and middle-income taxpayers and small businesses.
The agency notes the jobs requiring weapons are for new hires in its criminal investigations department. Officials explain the agency has fewer than 3,000 CID agents in an IRS workforce of more than 78,000 employees.
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