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Sen. Cynthia Lummis Slams Janet Yellen’s Bank Transaction Proposal: ‘That’s Just Spying’

“Do you distrust the American people so much that you need to know when they bought a couch? Or a cow?” the Republican asked

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“The Secretary admitted to me that this is not where they will find the so called ‘tax gap’. Her exact words were “…but it’s important we have comprehensive information”. That’s just spying.” So said Republican Senator Cynthia Lummis when explaining Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s remarks referring to the proposal that banks report all transactions over $600.

Yellen stated in an interview that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has the means to collect more information on taxpayers and bank accounts, including cash flows.

According to an interview reviewed by the New York Post, the secretary argued that the information gathered would help the Department of the Treasury determine which wealthy high-income individuals may be hiding transactions.

“These would be helpful indicators of where it would make sense for auditing to occur,” Yellen added. However, Republican Senator Cynthia Lummis claims that Yellen actually said it is important to have the full information on citizens.

Not alone

Precisely because of that point of the proposal, several Republicans have claimed that the project puts Americans’ privacy at risk. Already days earlier, Lummis had criticized Yellen during a Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Development Committee hearing.

“Do you distrust the American people so much that you need to know when they bought a couch? Or a cow?” the Republican questioned.

Also, Republican Rep. Jefferson Van Drew, introduced HR 5475 last week, known as the Banking Privacy Act of 2021. This with the intention of stopping the Democratic Administration’s proposal.

“This useless proposal by the Administration is an invasion of Americans’ privacy rights and allows the government to have expanded access to individuals sensitive bank information,” Van Drew said.

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