WASHINGTON – U.S.Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) today called for the Senate to pass his legislation, the Protecting Financial Privacy Act (S.2953), which would prohibit the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from requiring financial institutions to report the financial transaction data of their customers in addition to what is already required by the Bank Secrecy Act. The bill would block President Biden’s proposal for financial institutionsto report all transactions of $600 or greater made by their customers to the IRS. Current regulations require financial institutions to report all cash transactions of $10,000 or more to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network at the Treasury Department.
Senator Tuberville asked for unanimous consent of all Members of the Senate to pass the Protecting Financial Privacy Act. Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) and Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) joined Senator Tuberville on the Senate floor to speak in support of the bill. Democrats, led by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), objected and refused to pass the legislation, highlighting Congressional Democrats’ support of the proposal for the IRS to invade the financial privacy of Americans.
Excerpts from Senator Tuberville’s remarks can be found below, and the full speech can be viewed here.
“It’s no secret that I oppose President Biden’s tax proposal. I think it’s bad policy that would undercut growth and derail American prosperity. But one of the worst parts of the President’s plan is the provision requiring financial institutions to report their customers’ transactions of $600 or greater to the IRS.”
“That means any time an American pays a bill, makes a deposit, transfers funds, or makes a purchase of $600 dollars or more, their bank or credit union would be forced to report that data to the IRS. This would be an unprecedented intrusion into the financial lives of American citizens and businesses – big brother government at its worst.”
“But it would also be the nail in the coffin of small banks and credit unions, and it would hit our rural and minority communities especially hard.”
“Opposition to this proposal is deep and bipartisan. I don’t care if you’re a Republican, a Democrat, or an independent, no one wants the IRS looking over their shoulder every time they make a financial transaction.”
“The IRS doesn’t efficiently use the data it collects now. Why in the world would we give them more information?”
“The bulk data collection they are proposing will do nothing to close the so-called tax gap. All it does is violate the liberty of every freedom-loving American who values their financial privacy.…As recently as this year, a Texas-based charity was denied tax exempt status because the IRS considered it to be too closely tied with the Republican Party due to its Christian affiliation.”
“Providing the IRS with massive amounts of financial transaction data will only make it easier for them to target groups they disagree with.”
“Now, Democrats in Congress are talking about only requiring transactions of $10,000 dollars or more to be reported to the IRS. While fewer Americans would be directly impacted by this threshold, we would still feel the broader negative effects. Small banks and credit unions won’t be able to afford to hire the staff and buy the systems needed to implement this reporting requirement – forcing them to close their doors.”
“And for Americans – including many minorities – living in rural communities across the country, these small banks and credit unions are often the only game in town.”
“If these community banks and credit union close, it would cut off access to capital for millions of Americans. Communities would suffer.”
“I am sorry to see that my Democratic colleagues oppose protecting the financial privacy of American taxpayers. That’s a real shame. I think you would be hard-pressed to find a Member of the United States Senate who can honestly say that a majority of their constituents support President Biden’s proposal for the IRS to monitor a $600 or more transaction.”
“We ought to be able to stand up together in a bipartisan fashion to reject this radical proposal. I’m confident that the American people will continue to put pressure on their elected representatives here in Washington to reject this plan.”
“Americans across the county can count on Senator Scott and myself to keep up the fight of this important issue.”
Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.