Rep. Stephanie Bice, a House Republican from Oklahoma, is calling for a detailed report on the arsenal and tactical equipment held by the Internal Revenue Service. This equipment report is in response to her growing unease over claims that the IRS has spent approximately $10 million on such equipment in the past three years.
“I am writing to express my concerns about the escalating rate of weapons procurement by the Internal Revenue Service,” Rep. Bice stated in a letter sent on Tuesday to IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel.
She acknowledged the law enforcement role of the Criminal Investigation division but highlighted recent reports suggesting that the IRS has made significant acquisitions of weapons and tactical gear.
Considering that the IRS’s primary function is to provide America’s taxpayer’s assistance to meet their tax responsibilities and understand and enforce the law with fairness and integrity, she expressed worry about the growing militarization of the IRS.
Bice requested Werfel to provide, within a week, details on the accounts utilized for the purchases, as well as information about the quantity and types of the items in the IRS’s possession, including armored vehicles, ammunition, weapons, weapon systems, drones/UAVs, chemical weapons, and explosive devices.
The IRS’s spending came under scrutiny following a report by the watchdog group OpenTheBooks, which found that since 2020, the IRS had spent almost $10 million on weapons, ammunition, and military-style gear. This report is part of the $35.2 million (adjusted for inflation) spending since 2006.
The letter is part of a more significant Republican effort to scrutinize the nearly $80 billion additional funding the Biden administration allocated to the IRS in the Inflation Reduction Act last year.
OpenTheBooks’s report stated that there are “now fewer U.S. Marines (186,000) with firearms than federal agents (200,000).
The only branch of the IRS authorized to use firearms is the Criminal Investigation Division, which investigates financial crimes, money laundering, tax-related identity theft, and terrorist financing efforts.
Bice criticized what she perceives as the Biden administration’s increasing militarization of the IRS.