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
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.