Background Briefing: January 10, 2023
The First Bill the House Republicans Pass Cuts Funds For the IRS to Help Tax Cheats and Run Up the Deficit
We begin with the first bill passed by the new Republican House to cut all but $8 Billion from the $80 billion allocated in the Inflation Reduction Act aimed at improving the IRS’s ability to collect owed taxes from tax cheats, corporations and wealthy individuals. Coming from the party of deficit hawks this makes no sense since cutting revenues increases the deficit. Joining us is Steve Rosenthal, a senior fellow in the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center at the Urban Institute who researches, speaks, and writes on a range of federal income tax issues. He was previously staff director of the DC Tax Revision Commission, practiced tax law in Washington, DC for over 25 years, and was a legislation counsel with the Joint Committee on Taxation, where he helped draft tax rules for financial institutions, financial products, capital gains, and related areas. We discuss his article at The Washington Post, “Trump’s taxes are Exhibit A in the case for why the IRS needs a big upgrade.”
The Former Head of Human Rights Watch is Denied a Fellowship at Harvard by the Pro-Israel Thought Police
Then we speak with Kenneth Roth, the former executive director of Human Rights Watch, one of the world’s leading international human rights organizations, which operates in more than 90 countries. Previously, he served as a federal prosecutor in New York and for the Iran-Contra investigation in Washington, DC. He has conducted numerous human rights investigations and missions around the world and has written extensively on a wide range of human rights abuses, devoting special attention to issues of international justice, counterterrorism, the foreign policies of the major powers, and the work of the United Nations. We discuss his article at The Guardian “I once ran Human Rights Watch. Harvard blocked my fellowship over Israel.”
11 of the 17 New Chairs of House Committees are Election Deniers Some of Whom Supported the Insurrection
Then finally we look into how 11 of the 17 new Republican heads of House Committees are election deniers who voted against certifying Biden’s victory, many of who supported and still support the insurrection. Joining us to discuss whether it is possible to work around the “legislative terrorists” as former Republican Speaker Boehner called them is Laura Rodriguez, vice president for Government Affairs at The Center for American Progress. Previously, she was the chief of staff for her hometown Florida Democratic congresswoman, Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell and also worked as a senior adviser for U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, advising him on Latino policy, outreach, and media. She also spent a year as the chief of staff for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute and spent nearly five years at the U.S. State Department Legislative Affairs Bureau under the Obama administration, where she ended her tenure as deputy assistant secretary for House Affairs.