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Brady, Ferguson Request IRS Clarify Whether it Plans to Use $80 Billion Budget to Expand Surveillance Regime

October 28, 2022

In a new letter to Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen, Ways and Means Republican Leader Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-GA) requested the Department of Treasury make clear how they intend to spend the $80 billion Democrats handed the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as part of the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act.”


CLICK HERE to read the letter.


The members wrote:

“With $80 billion in new IRS mandatory funding, we are concerned that the Administration and congressional Democrats will renew their efforts to surveil American bank accounts.”


“We remain strongly opposed to any effort to impose a bank surveillance scheme on Americans and believe it is important for the American people to know where this Administration stands on this issue.”


READ: Ways and Means Republicans Introduce Bill to Protect Middle Class, Small Businesses from Supersized IRS




Ways and Means GOP Introduced a Bill to Protect the Middle Class from a Supersized IRS.

  • The Biden Administration’s bank surveillance scheme would lead to local banks reporting to the IRS on details of nearly every American’s bank account. This plan is particularly troubling given the agency’s history of data leaks and political targeting.
  • Ways and Means Republicans, led by Rep. Brady, introduced a bill to prevent the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from using its massive, $80 billion infusion of taxpayer dollars to squeeze more revenue out of American taxpayers who earn less than $400,000 per year.
  • Democrats voted to supercharge the IRS, but voted against guardrails that would have protected lower- and middle- income taxpayers from more audits.


READ: Ways and Means Republicans Introduce Bill to Protect Middle Class, Small Businesses from Supersized IRS

Democrats Want the IRS Snoop on Americans’ Bank Transactions. 

  • President Biden’s original proposal to spend $80 billion on an army of auditors also came with a plan to require local banks to report on the gross transactions of your personal and business bank accounts.
  • Now that the IRS has $80 billion, the Administration is likely to try to find a way to impose its original bank surveillance scheme.
  • Every American must pay their taxes, but tax administration should not come at the expense of basic privacy.


The IRS has a Long History of Political Targeting and Leaks of Private Taxpayer Information. 

  • Given the agency’s inability to protect confidential taxpayer data over the last decade, the American people are rightfully concerned about the implications of giving the IRS a vast amount of new private data.


The Burden Of Democrats’ Supercharged IRS Reporting Falls On Families, Small Businesses, and Local Banks. 

  • The American people understand that a surveillance plan will be incredibly broad, and like most other government programs, there is no doubt that the Democrats will try to expand this effort in the future.
  • Ways and Means Republicans are committed to protecting American taxpayers from government overreach and from breaches of privacy like the one being proposed by the Biden Administration.