House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and other House Republicans said Thursday that President Joe Biden wants to “weaponize” the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) against the American people.
Republicans across the spectrum have slammed Biden’s efforts to increase the amount of information financial institutions must transmit to the IRS to combat tax evasion, allegedly. The proceeds from this increased spying on Americans would then offset the Democrats’ enormous Build Back Better Act, or the Democrats’ reconciliation infrastructure bill.
The Democrats’ proposal would require reports on accounts with more than $10,000 in annual deposits or withdrawals.
McCarthy, Reps. Ashley Hinson (R-IA), Drew Ferguson (R-GA), Mike Kelly (R-PA), Andrew Clyde (R-GA), and Tom Emmer (R-MN) spoke about how the IRS’s increased enforcement power would only lead to more IRS harassment of working-class Americans. Eric Bruen, the president and CEO of Desert Valleys credit union, and Warren Hudak, presidents of Hudak and Company, spoke at the event as well.
During the press conference, McCarthy called Biden’s efforts “egregious.” He noted that Biden hopes to hire 87,000 new IRS agents to increase their enforcement power, noting that it would be roughly the population of Scranton, Pennsylvania, or Biden’s hometown.
Ferguson, the chief House GOP deputy chip, said that Democrats want to “search” Americans’ houses, looking through every “sofa cushion” to offset the cost of the “big government spending.”
Hinson sponsored the Protecting Financial Privacy Act to prevent the IRS from collecting Americans’ personal data to use for audits.
Clyde said he started a firearms business after he finished serving in the military and personally experienced harassment from the IRS.
They [IRS] came in and wrongfully confiscated $940,000 For my firm’s business, they accused me of depositing my legally earned money which was fully reported in the bank in the wrong denomination. They were looking at every transaction that I deposited under $10,000. That’s what they were looking for. You know, they call it structuring my deposits back then. I didn’t even know what structuring but I thought stucturing was a good thing in business but come to find out it’s not when you’re dealing with the IRS. But they have been doing it to small businesses all across the country.
Republican backlash against the bill led the Biden administration to water down the proposal from $600 deposit balances to $10,000 deposits or withdrawals. But, the proposal has made even many Democrats uneasy with the suggestion.
Twenty Democrats wrote House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) Wednesday, contending that the proposal does not have sufficient privacy protections and would still impact many Americans.
“While the intent of this proposal is to ensure all taxpayers meet their obligations — a goal we strongly share — the data that would be turned over to the IRS is overly broad and raises significant privacy concerns,” the Democrats wrote.
Hinson told Breitbart News that although some Democrats have flagged concerns about the implications of the proposal, she said, “it’s very clear that is the direction that they want to go.”
The Iowa conservative said that the Democrats’ letter to Pelosi and Schumer came after Republicans have been “putting pressure and talking about this for months.” She suggested that this letter might serve as an attempt to “save face.”
Emmer said that Biden wants to use the IRS against the American people:
I think they’re probably looking at what their constituents feel right now. The leader [McCarthy] talking about this is not Communist China. If you look at the quality that’s out there, which no doubt they’re looking at, because I agree with Representative Hinson, this is their long term goal. That’s why they snuck it into the Treasury green book last. That’s why they never talked about it because this is their goal is to further weaponize the IRS against the American people and spy on bank accounts down to the smallest step fraction of whatever an account has, but they clearly are see that 60% of voters in swing districts are less likely to vote for any elected official who supports this proposal. And I think that’s why you saw 21 Democrats go to the speaker yesterday.
This agent cannot become a weapon used against hardworking American taxpayers, that destroys the faith, competence and trust in this model. That’s the end of America when that happens. And that’s what we’re facing. This is much larger than trying to get the unbanked to start banking, or to get people to go ahead and whatever term you want to use when it comes to paying taxes.
He added, “This is the destruction of the American form of government, and that is the most terrifying thing that’s happening right now.”
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.