As if this bill didn’t have enough problems …
Hidden in President Biden’s $3.5 trillion budget plan is a provision that would authorize the Internal Revenue Service to snoop on Americans’ bank accounts.
Nebraska state Treasurer John Murante said his state is leading the charge in objecting to the proposal that would compel banks to report private customers’ accounts with at least $600 of transactions to the IRS.
“My message is really simple. The people of Nebraska entrusted me to protect the privacy of these accounts and I am not going to comply with this. If the Biden administration sues me, we will take it all the way to the Supreme Court. We are going to fight every step of the way,” Murante told Fox Business during an interview on Thursday.
The administration says it will generate about $460 billion in additional revenue over the next decade, intended to help fund Biden and the Democrats’ pricey planned climate-change policies and social programs expansion.
Murante and 22 other financial officers across the country announced their opposition in a statement issued by his office earlier this month.
They slammed the proposal as a violation of Americans’ constitutional right to privacy and said the costs associated with banks, credit companies and other financial institutions complying with the requirement would be passed on to consumers.
“This could lead to a tremendous invasion of privacy the likes of which our country has never seen. Millions of law-abiding Americans would suddenly have their bank accounts opened to federal investigators for no more reason than buying a refrigerator. This is simply unconscionable. To make matters worse, under this proposal, saving for college could put an American family on the IRS’s radar, costs that most likely will be passed on to the public,” Murante said in the statement released Sept. 21.
Murante told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo that they are united in their opposition.
“We have members across the country who are committed to limited government and free market approaches, and we are unanimously against this proposal. It is an invasion of privacy and lacks any due process,” he said.
Consumers Bankers Association president Richard Hunt said he fears the data collected could be used against private customers.
“Now that they have the data, they are going to slice and dice and look into every single transaction of nearly every American,” he said on Fox Business. “I’m afraid if it does pass, it may force some people not to get into the banking system, and we need people in the banking system.”
Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) raised privacy concerns to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen during a hearing Tuesday on Capitol Hill.
“My question is: Are you aware of how unnecessary this regulatory burden is?” Lummis said at the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Development Committee hearing. “Do you distrust the American people so much that you need to know when they bought a couch? Or a cow?”
She said, “Bank customers are not subjects to the federal government. Banks do not work for the IRS.”
Yellen said she disagreed with Lummis’ interpretation of the proposal.
“Banks already report directly to the IRS the interest that they pay on accounts when it exceeds $10, and this is not a proposal to provide detailed transaction level data by banks to the IRS,” she said.
A vote on the $3.5 trillion spending plan could come as early as Thursday.
But the legislation has been the subject of in-fighting between moderate and progressive Democrats over its cost.