After President Joe Biden made significant concessions on his Build Back Better economic plan, another of his proposals which calls for mass IRS surveillance of bank accounts has been blocked – and this time it’s with the help of a member of his own party – Sen. Joe Manchin.
The Biden administration said it proposed mass surveillance of bank accounts to cut down on tax evasion and help pay for the hefty social-economic spending plan. Democrats posited the audits of bank accounts would help the government do a better job of putting a stop to tax evasion.
Originally, the proposal was slated to target bank accounts that had inflows or outflows of $600 or more annually. They increased the amount to $10,000 annually after backlash.
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However, the increase still wasn’t enough to ease the minds of critics – including many Republicans and moderate Democrats like Manchin – who are concerned the proposal is a potential invasion of privacy. Manchin talked about blocking the bank surveillance proposal during an interview with the Economic Club of Washington, D.C., Politico reported.
“Do you understand how messed up that is?” Manchin said he told the president. “This cannot happen. It’s screwed up. … I think that one’s going to be gone.”
Three sources familiar with the matter said the bank reporting proposal is out of the bill, CNBC anchor Kayla Tausche reported.
As a result, Democrats tried a last-ditch effort to save some form of the mass IRS surveillance bank proposal on Wednesday, including making people who make less than $400,000 annually exempt, Bloomberg reported.
Failure to do so will result in it being more difficult for Democrats to raise revenue to pay for the ambitious spending plan, which was already scaled down significantly from its initial $3.5 trillion spending goal to its current $1.75 trillion iteration.
In addition to the bank surveillance proposal, Democrats have conceded paid family medical leave, lowering the price of prescription drugs, raising the federal minimum wage, taxing the wealthy and other provisions that were extremely popular with voters.
Along with Manchin, moderate Democrat Kyrsten Sinema has been instrumental in blocking key provisions from making it into Biden’s final bill.