Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee this week advanced legislation with provisions to restrict several agencies, particularly the FCC and the IRS. Like their colleagues in the House, Republican Senate appropriators targeted the FCC’s controversial “net neutrality” order in the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Bill by not permitting the agency to regulate broadband rates under the order. Also, like the House, the Senate committee-passed bill cuts the FCC budget by allotting $20 million less to the agency than in the last fiscal year. The IRS also would receive a $470 million cut, and, among other provisions, the bill includes a “prohibition on funds for the IRS to target individuals for exercising their First Amendment rights.” The full House has not yet voted on its version of this bill, and, while the Senate Appropriations Committee has reported out all 12 annual funding bills, Senate Democrats have thus far blocked further consideration of appropriations legislation on the Senate Floor. The 2015 fiscal year ends on September 30.
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations
Published: July 24, 2015