Reconciliation package is bad policy


Congressman Chris Jacobs, R-Orchard Park, delivered a floor speech Wednesday in the House of Representations related to the proposed $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill that includes $80 billion to expand the auditing ability of the Internal Revenue Service and require banks to turn over to the IRS bank account information for all accounts above a certain threshold.

While the stated goal of the beefing up the IRS is to uncover tax dodging by the wealthy, opponents – including bank and financing industry leaders – have expressed concerns about the intrusion into customer privacy, costs to financial institutions, and the ability of the IRS to protect data, among other concerns.

The full text of Jacobs’ remarks, as prepared for delivery:

“Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to the Democrats’ radical reconciliation package, and specifically their plans to weaponize the IRS and expand the agency’s reach into Americans’ lives.

“Originally Democrats’ plan was to hire thousands of new IRS agents to surveil the accounts of any American with $600 or more in transactions.

“While they have upped that limit to $10,000 in deposits and withdrawals, this would still subject most Americans working at least a minimum wage job to undue government intrusion.

“I can tell you, and I think most of my colleagues would agree, that I have not had a constituent call and beg for more IRS agents or for the agency to have increased ability to spy on them.

“Rather, my constituents are concerned this proposal represents an attempt by the administration to weaponize and politicize the IRS to fund their partisan agenda.

“I believe Americans are entitled to privacy and constitutional rights. This proposal is a drastic overreach and is emblematic of this administration’s priorities – expand the government’s control over everyday Americans.

“Thank you, and I yield back.”

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