Vulnerable House Democrats already are feeling the heat over President Biden’s proposal to give the IRS information on bank accounts with more than $10,000 in annual deposits.
The National Republican Congressional Committee launched a new radio and television ad targeting 15 House Democrats on the topic Wednesday.
The ads, which will run in swing states like New Hampshire and Florida, excoriate Democrats for wanting to “hire an army of IRS agents” to keep tabs on how average Americans spend their hard-earned money.
“Democrats’ plan to spy on the bank accounts of everyday Americans who spend over $10,000 per year is downright scary,” Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota, chairman of the NRCC, said in a news release. “Voters will reject Democrats’ efforts to exert more government control over their personal finances.”
The ad comes as Democrats debate significantly expanding the IRS’s powers within Mr. Biden’s multitrillion-dollar social welfare bill.
Initially, Mr. Biden sought regulations that would require banks to report annually on the “inflows and outflows” of personal and business accounts with more than $600 in transactions annually. After significant pushback, Democrats raised the threshold to $10,000 and created exemptions for wages.
The compromise has done little to mollify critics, however. Republicans say the proposal amounts to a massive expansion of federal power, comparable to that of a “surveillance state.” They note that the exemption covers only deposits and does not include how the money is ultimately spent.
Mike Berg, a spokesman for the NRCC, said the IRS “spying issue” was the “best testing message against” Mr. Biden’s spending bill among voters. Overall, 70% of battleground voters were less likely to back the measure once learning about the new IRS provisions.
The backlash to the policy is also beginning to reverberate among Democrats. Sen. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, a key swing vote for the White House‘s legislative agenda, told the Economic Club of Washington, D.C., earlier this week that he had personally raised objections on the topic with Mr. Biden.
“The president and I had this conversation. I said … ‘Do you understand how messed up that is to think that Uncle Sam’s going to be watching transactions? … This cannot happen, it’s screwed up,’ ” Mr. Manchin said. “So I think that one’s going to be gone.”