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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

Oct 26, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Rich tax may flunk

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The "billionaire tax" and other revenues Democrats want to pay for President Biden's $2 trillion social safety net expansion are about to face a math test from a notoriously hard grader: the Joint Committee on Taxation.

Why it matters: The budget reconciliation instructions require the Senate Finance Committee to offset all the spending it authorizes with the same amount of revenue. Hot air from House and Senate leaders about pay-fors will be replaced by the joint committee's cold arithmetic — and the result is in doubt.

The rickety state of climate legislation

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Getty Images photos: Rudy Sulgan and Anton Petrus

The last 24 hours have somehow been confusing and clarifying about the state of major climate legislation at the same time.

Catch up fast: Last night House Democratic leaders, facing a revolt from progressives, put off a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure package for now.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Oct 25, 2021 - Energy & Environment

What we’re watching during the final countdown to COP26

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

This is shaping up as a critical week for climate policy in the U.S. and worldwide.

Driving the news: Democrats are in the final stages of trying to craft the big social spending and climate package they're trying to move on a thread-the-needle party-line vote.