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House GOP leader attacks Build Back Better over a measure that doesn't exist

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy released a video decrying a provision that was cut from the Build Back Better plan two weeks ago.

By Josh Israel - November 10, 2021
Kevin McCarthy

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy posted a video on Tuesday attacking a supposed provision in President Joe Biden’s jobs plan that McCarthy said would let the government “spy on your bank account.” But the measure is not actually in the $1.75 trillion proposal pending in Congress.

“What’s in the Democrats’ Socialist Spending Scam?” the California Republican tweeted as he shared the 73-second video. “87,000 new IRS agents to spy on your bank account. It’s invasive, unconscionable, and will impact nearly every American—but it’s a feature of their enormously wasteful spending package.”

When Biden and congressional Democrats agreed on a $1.75 trillion compromise framework in late October to invest in climate change and caregiving infrastructure, they dropped the idea entirely. The bill advanced by the House on Nov. 5 includes no new bank data reporting requirements.

The video features clips of McCarthy and allies at his Oct. 28 “roundtable” event on what he termed “IRS Surveillance,” each attacking a provision in President Joe Biden’s original $3.5 trillion Build Back Better investment plan that would have required banks to report annual account transaction totals to the Internal Revenue Service.

“They want to spy on you. They’re gonna force the financial institutions, be it the fintech, be it your credit union, to tell what you’re doing with this money. Why should government ever be looking?” the minority leader incorrectly claimed.

In reality, the proposed data collection would have only given aggregate annual totals of depositions and withdrawals — not giving the IRS information about what people spend their funds on.

But for months, GOP lawmakers attacked the idea, dishonestly claiming that efforts to crack down on rich tax cheats who fail to report their full earnings would mean governmental “spying” on average people’s every purchase.


Now McCarthy and his caucus are simply ignoring the fact that the provision was removed and are attacking the new bill as if the measure is in it.

“The Biden Administration wants to spy on your bank account,” claimed Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan on Tuesday.

“Here’s why Nancy Pelosi is ramming through the Dems socialist spending agenda,” tweeted Florida Rep. Byron Donalds on Nov. 5, before the bill passed in the House. “Grants amnesty to millions of illegals. Empowers the IRS to spy on Americans. Allows for taxpayer dollars to fund abortions.”

Experts say the data-reporting provision would have helped enable the federal government to collect some of the hundreds of billions of dollars in tax revenue owed but not paid each year. By accessing more financial information, they say, the IRS would have been better able to target dishonest rich tax evaders for audits.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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