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Sen. Lummis asks Biden ‘do you distrust Americans so much that you need to know when they buy a couch?’

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Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) took her opportunity to blast President Biden during the latest Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen appeared for a hearing Tuesday when Lummis took aim at Biden’s financial policy.

Following Biden’s proposal to require banks to hand over transaction data over $600 on individual bank accounts, Lummis railed against the president

“Banks do not work for the IRS,” Lummis said. “This is invasive of privacy. Wyoming’s people literally will find alternatives to traditional banks just to thwart IRS access to their personal information, not because they’re trying to hide anything, but because they are not willing to share everything.”

However, Secretary Yellen corrected the senator. She claimed that the administration would just see reports on aggregate transactions. This way, there would be no way to see the data behind individual accounts.

“Do you distrust the American people so much that you need to know when they bought a couch? Or a cow?” Lummis asked. “I am astounded by what you’re supporting and proposing. I think it’s invasive. I think privacy for individuals is being ignored. And I think that treating the American people like they are subjects of the government is unconscionable.”

“The IRS has a wealth of information about individuals,” Yellen said. According to the treasure secretary, the proposal is for those who have “opaque sources of income.”

“A $600 threshold is not usually where you’re going to find the massive amount of tax data you think Americans are cheating you out of,” Lummis responded.

According to the Office of Tax Analysis, a crackdown on unreported income could generate $460 billion over the next decade. Yet, the IRS estimates that compliance on taxes due on wages is 99%. Meanwhile, compliance on what they call “less visible” sources of income is at 45%.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.

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Top CA Democratic Party Leader Resigns Amid Corruption Probe

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A growing corruption probe has overtaken the Orange County Democratic Party in California. Longtime leader of the party, Melahat Rafiei, resigned Sunday night from her position as secretary of the California Democratic Party and state representative to the Democratic National Committee.

Fox LA reports she made the announcement Sunday in a letter posted on social media. “Rafiei said she was a confidential witness in the FBI probe of the proposed sale of Angel Stadium and that she resigned from her post, saying the controversy over her role had become a hindrance.”

Voice of OC reports:

According to an affidavit from FBI special agent Brian Adkins, Rafiei was arrested on attempted bribery after federal agents allege she told a cannabis company that hired her she planned on bribing two Irvine City Councilmembers in exchange for favorable legislation in the city. 

“CW1 began to devise a scheme whereby CW1 would solicit money from CHS1 and CHS2 with the intention of paying bribes to two elected members of the Irvine City Council in exchange for the Council Members performing official acts, resulting in the passage of favorable cannabis laws,” states the affidavit. 

Rafiei had been under scrutiny and pressured to quit after reports surfaced that she had been arrested by the FBI in 2019 for an alleged bribery scheme. Rafiei has not been charged.

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