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U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means

10/15/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/15/2021 14:41

Ways & Means Republicans Introduce Bill Prohibiting Biden’s Invasive IRS Bank Surveillance Plan

Ways & Means Republicans Introduce Bill Prohibiting Biden's Invasive IRS Bank Surveillance Plan

A new bill that will stop the Biden Administration's plan to turn local banks into chapters of the IRS required to report on the bank accounts of nearly all Americans was introduced on Friday by Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-GA), and cosponsored by all Ways and Means Republican members. The Prohibiting IRS Financial Surveillance Acthalts the sweeping surveillance scheme amid growing concerns about the politicization of the IRS and how new powers would invade Americans' privacy.

"The IRS bank surveillance scheme in the Democrats' 'reconciliation' bill is a dangerous threat to our privacy that targets farmers, families and small businesses," Rep. Brady said. "Americans should not accept this, nor Speaker Pelosi's demand to unleash 80,000 more IRS agents on hardworking taxpayers."

"We should not allow the IRS to invade the privacy of Americans by snooping into their bank accounts," Rep. Ferguson said. "The Biden Administration and Congressional Democrats have clearly demonstrated their intent to instate a broad financial surveillance regime using Americans' private financial information. In an attempt to chase down an ill-defined "tax gap" that may not even exist, Democrats are willing to throw caution to the wind, put secure information at risk, and further inflate the unchecked power of the IRS. This IRS surveillance is an invasion of individual's privacy and with Democrats' history of weaponizing the IRS for their own political gain, it's in every American's best interest that we prevent the use of private financial information for this type of egregious power play."

"The Biden administration's disturbing proposal to surveil the bank accounts of everyday Americans is a massive invasion of privacy and sets a dangerous new precedent," Rep. Buchanan said."Providing the IRS with unfettered access to peoples' personal financial information should rightfully scare every American with a bank account. That's why I'm committed to stopping this frightening new plan dead in its tracks and applaud Congressman Ferguson for championing this important new legislation to do just that."

"I fully support the Prohibiting IRS Financial Surveillance Act to keep the IRS from monitoring and tracking Americans' bank transactions," Rep. Rice said."The Biden Administration and House Democrats have shown they don't mind weaponizing the IRS at the expense of our privacy. We must protect Americans' private information from these overreaching surveillance programs."

"Like so many Hoosiers, I am appalled by President Biden and the Democrats' scheme to enable the IRS to snoop on Americans' bank accounts and infringe on our privacy and security," Rep. Walorski said. "We cannot accept their plan to turn financial institutions in Indiana and across the country into local outposts of the IRS with the sole purpose of reporting Americans' personal financial account information back to the government. It's clear that the Democrats are focused on weaponizing the IRS for their own political gain and securing more control over Americans - from cradle to grave. I will continue to oppose this radical agenda and stand up for Americans' rights and privacy."

"Democrats' attempt to create a 'surveillance state' on the American people is outrageous and a blatant violation of privacy," Rep. Arrington said."The IRS has a shocking history of privacy leaks, unacceptable inefficiency, and abuse of power. IRS bureaucrats don't need more power, banks don't need more red tape, and the Americans don't need the government intruding in their lives more than they already do."

"At a time when trust in government is at an all-time low, expansion of IRS surveillance power is the last thing that people want," Rep. Hern said. "Rather than writing a sensible bill that can be responsibly paid for, Democrats have instead produced a bloated socialist wish-list that they say will be paid for by 'reducing tax fraud.' What they mean to say is that they will snoop around Americans' personal finances trying to generate revenue that might not exist. The Federal Government has no right to monitor American citizens' everyday transactions. I am proud to join this measure and send a clear message to the Biden Administration that Americans do not need this and will not stand for it."

"I join my fellow Ways and Means Republicans in standing against Democrats' intrusive IRS regime, which violates the financial privacy of American families and small businesses," Rep. Miller said. "We cannot allow the Biden IRS to continue its months-long record of fraud, overreaching power, and disregard for citizens' personal information. I applaud Congressman Ferguson for introducing this legislation to hold the IRS accountable."

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

Democrats Will Have the IRS Snoop on Americans' Bank Transactions.

  • This proposal would put the bank account information of nearly every American into the hands of the IRS.
  • President Biden's proposal to spend $80 billion on an army of auditors and require local banks to report on the gross transactions of your personal and business bank account is unacceptable to the American people.
  • Every American must pay their taxes, but there's very little evidencesuggesting the IRS estimate on unpaid taxes (dubbed the "tax gap") is accurate, given that it may be based on data from seven years ago or wild guesses.

READ: The Numbers in Biden's Invasive Tax Gap Plan Don't Add Up

The IRS has a Long History of Political Targeting and Leaks of Private Taxpayer Information.

  • Given the agency's inability to protect confidential taxpayer data over the last decade, the American people are rightfully concerned about the implications of giving the IRS a vast amount of new private data.

WATCH: Brady: With Its History of Political Targeting, Why Would We Reward the IRS with Greater Power Over Sensitive Taxpayer Data?

The Burden Of Democrats' Supercharged IRS Reporting Falls On Families, Small Businesses, and Local Banks.

  • The American people understand that this surveillance plan will be incredibly broad, and like most other government programs, there is no doubt that the Democrats will try to expand this effort in the future.
  • Ways and Means Republicans are committed to protecting American taxpayers from government overreach and from breaches of privacy like the one being proposed by the Biden Administration.
  • Republicans have also introduced the Tax Gap Reform and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Enforcement Act, which allows for a better understanding of the tax gap, provides smarter enforcement, ensures the IRS uses all of the resources at its disposal, and addresses the expertise gap at the IRS.

REPORT: Biden's Tax Plan Turns IRS Into Spying Regime

READ: Fact Check: Biden's Supercharged IRS Includes Bank Reporting, Hardships for Taxpayers