Lawmakers worried about giving the IRS more money and power may have weakened the chances of a major infrastructure bill passing by the August recess.
The plan was to go after tax dodgers to support an infrastructure bill in the Senate that flirted with $1 trillion in total funding. Republican senators, however, are not in support of anything that would embolden the IRS, so the infrastructure measure currently does not have a mode to generate new money. The IRS move could have generated up to $100 billion, and lawmakers need to come up with $579 billion in new spending over the next five years or as much as $900 billion over the next eight years in order to support a nearly $1 trillion infrastructure deal.
The Senate still wants to start debating a major infrastructure bill in the next couple of days. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is expected to file cloture on the infrastructure measure the night of July 19, and a key test vote is set for July 21.
However, many senators are threatening to vote no on July 21 because a final agreement, and how to pay for it, is not set. Others may vote no because the deadline is simply coming up too quick.
The Congressional Budget Office needs to have input as well. The Office figures out a score for the measure, and if the score is too low many Republicans are not expected to vote on anything that is not finalized on paper.