Rule that would have allowed congressmen to view our tax returns is dead

| Tuesday, December 07, 2004

A provision that was holding up the Omnibus Appropriations Bill – and that concerned privacy advocates across the board – has been removed after the U.S. House joined the Senate in voting to remove it.

The provision – which threw up red flags for many in the nation’s capital, and which some said trampled on disclosure laws – would have allowed the chairmen of the House and Senate appropriations committees or their agents “access to Internal Revenue Service facilities and any tax returns or return information contained therein.”

It was contained within the 3,500-page bill, which is intended to provide government departments with the funding they need to keep operating.

The House vote was 381-0, according to the Library of Congress online legislative information service. The measure removing the offending language was approved by the Senate Nov. 20.

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