UPDATED 1:57 PM PT – Wednesday, October 20, 2021
Republican senators have slammed Joe Biden’s IRS for their plan to monitor American’s bank accounts.
Democrats in Congress are trying to pass a law that would require banks to monitor all accounts with more than $600 in transactions. On Tuesday, Republican senators held a press conference explaining everything they’ve said is wrong with such a proposal.
South Dakota’s John Thune (R) said there has never been anything like this in the history of the country.
“We’ve never seen anything like it before, where you’re literally talking about an IRS dragnet across the bank accounts of every single American, or at least every single American who banks,” said Thune. “Because as has been pointed out, any American who uses a bank account probably at some point deposits and withdrawals exceed $600.”
The senators also expressed concerns for privacy. Idaho’s Mike Crapo (R) noted the plan doesn’t just include banks and credit unions, but all institutions that engage in financial transactions.
“By the way, the proposal doesn’t include just banks and credit unions. It includes financial institutions. That’ll be Venmo, PayPal, you name it,” Crapo said. “And the scope of the IRS ability to dive into these accounts will be the biggest violation of individual privacy that I think this county has ever seen.”
🚨 LIVE SOON → Republican Senators discuss the misguided attempt by the IRS to spy on law-abiding Americans’ bank accounts
Tune in here at approx. 12:00pET: https://t.co/PsxgVadVx0
— Senate Republicans (@SenateGOP) October 19, 2021
Democrats have since sent mixed messaging on the proposal. They’re now saying the limit will actually be $10,000, instead of the $600 originally proposed. However, Republicans are not satisfied and still believe most Americans would be swept up in the monitoring and that it would hurt small businesses.
“The vast majority of Americans have accounts that will go through $600 in a year. And if they raise it to $10,000, it’ll still capture everybody and every small business, and you have to ask yourself for what purpose? It tells you nothing about taxable income,” stated Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.).
When asked about the proposal at her daily press briefing, Press Secretary Jen Psaki brushed off concerns. According to her, most accounts wouldn’t be monitored because they fill out W-2 forms so the income is already being monitored by the government.
“So people who get W-2’s, whether they are teachers, firefighters, employees at Fox News. Anywhere where they may be getting a W-2, that’s not what we’re talking about here,” said Psaki. “They’re already reporting their income. We’re talking about high net worth individuals who are not paying the taxes they owe.”
Democrats have attached the proposal to their partisan reconciliation package, which is still facing tough intraparty opposition. If passed, it will not go into effect until December of 2022.