WASHINGTON (AP) -- The GOP-controlled House has slashed the budget for the Internal Revenue Service's tax enforcement division by $1.2 billion, a 25 percent cut that would mean fewer audits of taxpayers and make it more likely that people who cheat on their taxes will get away with it.<br />
The House approved the cuts by voice vote after little debate as it took up a $21 billion spending bill that sets the IRS budget.<br />
The cuts reflect GOP outrage over the agency's scrutiny of tea party groups seeking tax-exempt status.<br />
The White House had already issued a veto threat on the legislation, saying it shortchanges the IRS, impedes implementation of the new health care law and undercuts the new regulations on Wall St. that passed in 2010.
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
President Vladimir Putin's chief political foe was convicted along with his brother on Tuesday in a fraud case widely seen as a vendetta by the Kremlin, triggering one of Russia's boldest anti-government demonstrations in years.
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