Congressman Black & Chairman Boustany Unveil Bill to Stop Abuse of Taxpayer Information

May 20, 2013

Washington, DC – (May 20, 2013) – In the wake of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) targeting scandal, Congressman Diane Black (R-TN) joined by House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Charles Boustany (R-LA) and Congressmen Ralph Hall (R-TX) and Mike Kelly (R-PA) introduced the Stopping Government Abuse of Taxpayer Information Act, H.R. 2022, to protect Americans from political targeting at all government agencies charged with the implementation and enforcement of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare.

The IRS targeting scandal exposes the serious potential for widespread abuse of taxpayer information at all government agencies involved with implementing the President’s health care law.  Given the fact that a top IRS official in charge during the targeting scandal is now running the IRS’ Obamacare office, we have every reason to believe that the political targeting over nonprofit status is just the beginning. But stopping the IRS does not go far enough. With Obamacare giving more access and power to government bureaucrats at the IRS, HHS, DOJ, DHS and SSA, we must ensure that every government agency with access to Obamacare’s Federal Data Services Hub is not and will not target and discriminate against the American people based on their beliefs.

“Currently, bureaucrats at five different government agencies are building Obamacare’s Federal Data Services Hub, the largest personal information database ever created by the U.S. government. The data hub is a ticking time bomb. Unless action is taken to protect the American people, the IRS scandal will be  just the beginning when it comes to abuse of taxpayer information by government bureaucrats – further jeopardizing basic constitutional freedoms as well as the American people’s health care and financial well being. Oversight is not a Republican or Democrat issue. This is about protecting the American people and ensuring that their own government is not discriminating against them,” said Congressman Black.

“This legislation protects vital personal information of taxpayers across America. Any federal agency with access to the Federal Date Services Hub needs to have strict safeguards in place to prevent the financial, health care, and personal information of taxpayers from being released. We have recently learned the IRS not only targeted individuals but then compromised their personal information by releasing it in violation of federal law. This legislation seeks to prevent such intrusions from ever happening again by holding offenders responsible and stating clear repercussions for violations. With this bill, taxpayer information will be treated with the proper protection it deserves,” said Chairman Boustany.

Stopping Government Abuse of Taxpayer Information Act, H.R. 2022:

  • Halts the implementation and enforcement of Obamacare;
  • Forces all government agencies with access to Obamacare’s Federal Data Services Hub to present to Congress under perjury of the law, certification that the American people’s sensitive information will not be used for targeting any individual or group based on their political beliefs;
  • Requires the termination of all employees who targeted Americans based on their political beliefs, knew about the abuses and declined to come forward, and/or mislead investigators about the targeting scandal.

Background: Obamacare’s Federal Data Services Hub

To monitor compliance with the rules and regulations of Obamacare, the IRS and HHS are building what will become the largest personal information database of U.S. citizens. The Federal Data Services Hub project is combining the IRS's own records (for income and employment status) and centralizing them with information from Social Security (identity), Homeland Security (citizenship), Justice (criminal history), HHS (enrollment in entitlement programs and certain medical claims data) and state governments (residency).

Congressman Black serves on the House Ways and Means Committee and the Subcommittee on Oversight. She is also a member of the House Budget Committee, Vice Chairman of the House GOP Doctors Caucus and has been a registered nurse for more than 40 years.