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Rob Portman. Photo: STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said on Sunday that the group of senators pursuing a bipartisan infrastructure deal will no longer be looking at increasing enforcement at the Internal Revenue Service as a way of funding the bill.

State of play: One of the ways President Biden hoped to pay for his massive infrastructure plan was by infusing the IRS with $40 billion to help it crack down on tax collection and potentially collect $100 billion more in taxes.

The big picture: In an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union," Portman named two reasons for why tougher IRS enforcement is no longer on the table as a pay-for.

  • One is due to the "pushback" the proposal received.
  • Another is that Democrats hope to include IRS enforcement as a pay-for in their budget reconciliation package for "human infrastructure," according to Portman.

What they're saying: "Another reason is that we found out that the Democrats were going to put a proposal into the reconciliation package, which was not just similar to the one we had, but with a lot more IRS enforcement," Portman said.

  • "That created quite a problem because the general agreement is that this is the bipartisan-negotiated infrastructure package and that we will stick with that," he added.
  • "There are other ways to do this," Portman said.

Go deeper

Sep 17, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Biden bombs with Manchin

Then-Vice President Joe Biden conducts a ceremonial swearing-in for Sen. Joe Manchin in 2010. Photo: Tom Williams/Roll Call

President Biden failed to persuade Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to agree to spending $3.5 trillion on the Democrats' budget reconciliation package during their Oval Office meeting on Wednesday, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Defying a president from his own party — face-to-face — is the strongest indication yet Manchin is serious about cutting specific programs and limiting the price tag of any potential bill to $1.5 trillion. His insistence could blow up the deal for progressives and others.

Estimate: Revenues would drop before increasing under Dems' tax plan

Democratic Rep. Richard Neal, chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, which has submitted a draft proposal on raising taxes. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

Democrats plan to raise $1 trillion over 10 years by making the federal income tax code more progressive. But they won't get the money quickly — their plan actually decreases total income tax revenues in 2023. And when the money does come, it will come from the very rich.

Why it matters: Estimates released by the bipartisan Joint Committee on Taxation on Tuesday show the House Democrats' plan raising $12 billion less than the current tax regime in 2023. But it will raise $133 billion more in 2029.

The Exvangelicals

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Even as evangelicals maintain their position as the most popular religion in the U.S., a movement of self-described "exvangelicals" is breaking away, using social media to engage tens of thousands of former faithful.

The big picture: Donald Trump's presidency, as well as movements around LGBTQ rights, #MeToo and Black Lives Matter, drew more Americans into evangelical churches while also pushing some existing members away.