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'Screwed Up': Manchin Blasts IRS Plan to Monitor $600 Transactions

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

In remarks at the Economic Club of Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) said he had blasted the proposal to probe Americans' financial transactions during a weekend meeting with President Biden and key staff, calling the plan "screwed up" while insisting that such monitoring "cannot happen."

Perhaps more newsworthy, according to Manchin's account, Biden gave the West Virginia moderate the impression that the proposal for IRS surveillance of Americans' accounts would be removed from the reconciliation package. 

When asked about the IRS needing more funding, Manchin said "The IRS is going to be able to do the job they should be doing, and they're going to be able to modernize their computer systems and be able to do what they're intended to do." 

"They were never enabled to go into bank accounts of an average individual. I told him, the president and I had this conversation," Manchin explained. "I said, 'Mr. President, I don't know who put this out and how it got screwed up — when they said basically we're going to start looking at $600 transactions — even if it is $10,000 dollars, that's only $800 or $900 a [month]."

"I said, 'Do you understand how messed up that is to think that Uncle Sam's going to be watching," Manchin said he told Biden. "I told him — I said Mr. President, I don't know what happened, this cannot happen, this is screwed up."

Manchin said the President's staff looked uneasy when he was blasting the plan in his meeting with Biden, and that the president told his staff "I think Joe's right on that." As a result, Manchin concluded that "I think that [plan's] gonna be gone" from the final reconciliation package.

Manchin's office stated after the event that he opposed any threshold for transaction reporting and that "no one should be in anyone's bank account."

Manchin's remarks on the IRS' surveillance plan — among other pressing issues the Senate faces — can be viewed from the full event below:

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