GOP-led House seeks to punish IRS with budget cuts (VIDEO)

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Another IRS controversy: Social Security numbers posted onli

WASHINGTON (AP) — The GOP-controlled House unveiled slashing cuts to the budget of the Internal Revenue Service on Tuesday, punishing the beleaguered agency after it targeted tea party groups and other nonprofits seeking tax-exempt status.

The agency’s 2014 budget would be cut by $3 billion, or 24 percent below levels approved in March. Also, 10 percent of its budget for tax enforcement would be fenced off until the IRS implements recommendations by an agency watchdog designed to prevent further abuses.

The IRS cuts come after a wave of bad publicity for the agency including questionable spending on conferences like a lavish $4.1 million event in 2010 that included a “Star Trek” video parody and a $17,000 payment to a motivational speaker who was a painter.

President Barack Obama had requested a $1 billion increase for the IRS.

“Right now I can’t think of a federal agency in a worse position to ask for more money,” said Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas.

The Appropriations Committee also revealed cuts to NASA, White House salaries, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The full House took up a $30.4 billion measure funding the Energy Department and water projects that is about $3 billion below levels enacted earlier this year. Democrats protested cuts to clean and renewable energy programs.

Democrats controlling a Senate panel, meanwhile, went in a wholly opposite direction in giving a $1.3 billion increase to the IRS, the agency chiefly responsible to implement Obama’s signature health care law.

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