WASHINGTON (KSNW) – House Republicans began their tenure in the majority Monday by passing a bill that would rescind nearly $71 billion that Congress had provided the IRS, fulfilling a campaign promise even though the legislation is unlikely to advance further.

Shortly before the vote, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected that rescinding the extra IRS funding would increase deficits over the coming decade by more than $114 billion. That created an awkward moment for Republicans, who have been saying that addressing deficits would be one of their top concerns in the majority.

Democrats had beefed up the IRS over the next decade to help offset the cost of top health and environmental priorities they passed last year and to replenish an agency struggling to provide basic services to taxpayers and ensure fairness in tax compliance.

The money is on top of what Congress provides the IRS annually through the appropriations process and immediately became a magnet for GOP campaign ads in the fall, claiming that the boost would lead to an army of IRS agents harassing hard-working Americans.

GOP lawmakers routinely say the extra funding will be used to hire 87,000 new agents to target Americans, but that’s misleading. The number is based on a Treasury Department plan saying that many IRS employees would be hired over the next decade if it got the money. But those employees will not all be hired at the same time, they will not all be auditors, and many will be replacing some 50,000 employees who are expected to quit or retire in coming years.

The bill to rescind the money passed the House on a party-line vote of 221-210. Rep. Jake LaTurner and Rep. Tracey Mann released statements saying they voted to defund the 87,000 IRS agents.

“Last year, as America was barreling towards a recession, Washington Democrats spent billions of taxpayer dollars to hire 87,000 new IRS agents. If not repealed, this reckless decision will result in over 1.2 million new audits—half of which will impact Americans earning less than $75,000 a year,” said Rep. LaTurner. “With inflation still crushing family budgets, the last thing Kansans need is the IRS breathing down their necks. It’s time for real solutions that get our economy back on track and help hard-working families succeed.”

“The last thing we need is 87,000 more IRS agents and 1.2 million more audits. I voted yes on the Family and Small Business Taxpayer Protection Act because it’s a clear-cut way to fight back against one of the most egregious pieces of legislation from the last Congress,” Rep. Mann said. “The $72 billion of taxpayer money that Washington Democrats allocated to the IRS last year would have ballooned the agency to a size larger than the Pentagon, State Department, FBI, and Border Control combined.”

The Democratic-controlled Senate has vowed to ignore it.

The Associated Press contributed to this report