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Lankford, T. Scott, Colleagues Push to Block Democrats’ IRS Snooping Proposal

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today joined Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Pat Toomey (R-PA), and their Republican colleagues to introduce the Prohibiting IRS Financial Surveillance Act, a bill to prevent the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from implementing Democrats’ plan to give the agency access to transaction information of virtually every American.

Lankford has already spoken out on the Senate floor in strong opposition to this proposed snooping by the IRS. Lankford also joined his colleagues in a letter to urge Leader Schumer to abandon this unprecedented proposal to expand the reporting of the private, confidential financial data of law-abiding Americans from financial institutions to the IRS. Lankford continues to protect Oklahomans against Democrats’ campaign to monitor Americans’ bank accounts, place taxpayer finances in a surveillance dragnet, and provide massive, additional mandatory funding to IRS for an army of IRS agents.

“Biden’s newest socialist agenda item is an alarming new proposal that would allow the IRS to spy on Americans’ bank accounts,” said Lankford. “I stand firmly against that intrusion into Oklahomans’ personal finances and forced reporting by financial institutions. The IRS can already audit any individual or company they feel is not paying the taxes they owe, and the IRS Commissioner told me earlier this year that the IRS can’t handle the information they receive now, let alone this overreach. We need this bill in place to make sure we protect Americans’ private financial information from government snooping.”

“The Democrats’ plan to allow the IRS to spy on the bank accounts of nearly every person in this country, even those below the poverty line, should be deeply concerning to anyone who values privacy and economic inclusion,” said T. Scott. “Of the more than 7 million American households that are currently unbanked, the majority are low-income, rural, and minority Americans. Implementing the Biden reporting scheme will disproportionately harm those who need greater access to our financial institutions and people living paycheck to paycheck. My colleagues and I will not stop fighting the Democrats’ wrong-headed proposal to implement more federal government intrusion into our lives.”

“Every American should be wary of giving the IRS more power and more tentacles into private financial transactions,” said Crapo. “The IRS bank reporting proposal is one of the biggest expansions of the agency’s authority we’ve ever seen, and is fundamentally flawed. I’m proud to support Senator Scott’s legislation to stop this proposal in its tracks and protect Americans’ personal, private financial information.” 

“The Biden administration’s plan to allow the IRS to monitor Americans’ bank accounts is a dangerous idea that will only prove to be worse over time,” said Toomey. “Today the administration wants to know your annual account inflows and outflows. What will they demand access to tomorrow? I’m glad to join Senator Scott and Senator Crapo in working to ensure this terribly flawed proposal never sees the light of day.”

Joining Lankford, Scott, Crapo, and Toomey to introduce the bill were Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY), John Thune (R-SD), John Barrasso (R-WY), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Cornyn (R-TX), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Steve Daines (R-MT), John Kennedy (R-LA), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Richard Shelby (R-AL), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Richard Burr (R-NC), Todd Young (R-IN), John Hoeven (R-ND), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Jim Risch (R-ID), Mike Braun (R-IN), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Rick Scott (R-FL), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Rand Paul (R-KY), John Boozman (R-AR), Mike Lee (R-UT), Susan Collins (R-ME), Deb Fischer (R-NE), and Rob Portman (R-OH).

Background

President Biden, Treasury Secretary Yellen, and the IRS are seeking access to every working American’s financial information by requiring financial institutions to report to the IRS each and every withdrawal and deposit that total at least $10,000. The Prohibiting IRS Financial Surveillance Act would prohibit the Biden Administration’s proposed violation of privacy and federal government overreach.

Under the Biden reporting regime, a family whose monthly expenses total just $833 would still be required to be reported to the IRS. Nearly every American, even those below the poverty line, would be subject to this proposed reporting regime. The Joint Committee on Taxation has analyzed the proposal and found that it is likely to impact taxpayers in every income bracket, including those making less than $50,000. Steven Rosenthal at the left-leaning Tax Policy Center concluded the bank reporting requirement proposal would, “in fact, bury the agency in a sea of unproductive information.”

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