March 3rd, 2010
05:58 PM ET
13 years ago

Bill targets Hill staffers with unpaid taxes

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Rep. Chaffetz to introduce legislation Thursday cracking down on Hill staffers with unpaid taxes "]
Washington (CNN) – A Utah congressman wants delinquent Capitol Hill staffers to settle up.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, is set to introduce a bill Thursday that targets Congressional employees with unpaid taxes.

"It's pretty hard to find anyone who would disagree with this legislation," Chaffetz told CNN. When asked if his own staffers are current in paying their taxes, he indicated he had talked them before putting the bill together. "I hope they are all in compliance."

Rep. Chaffetz also said he wants to "model this after the IRS," which the Utah Republican says has the highest compliance rate in the federal government for employees paying taxes.

Chaffetz told CNN he got the idea for the legislation after he heard President Obama's remarks at the January 20 singing of a directive that blocks tax-delinquent companies from obtaining government contracts. At the time, Obama said "it is simply wrong for companies to take taxpayer dollars and not be taxpayers themselves."
According to Chaffetz, there are currently hundreds of Hill staffers with unpaid taxes. For the 2008 tax year alone, the freshman congressman estimates a total of $8 million in unpaid taxes owed by congressional employees.

Filed under: Jason Chaffetz
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. if I was crazy, I'd be a conservative too

    Aah, the anti tax republican has an answer to the jobs crisis.

    March 3, 2010 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  2. Kevin in Ohio

    Democrats will naturally disagree with this. First, because the idea comes from a Reublican. Second, because Charlie Rangel didnt pay his taxes, and that was perfectly OK.

    March 3, 2010 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  3. Sue

    You are wrong Rep Chaffetz.

    I bet that Turbo Tax Tim Geitner, Charlie Rangel, Chris Dodd, etc., etc, etc.,-–(fill in the name of your favorite Dem here)--will definitely have a problem with it.

    You see, to them.......EVERYONE ELSE should pay taxes--and they get to determine what taxes that they want EVERYONE ELSE to pay.......

    But, they don't feel that THEY should have to pay taxes.

    March 3, 2010 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    the freshman congressman estimates a total of $8 million in unpaid taxes owed by congressional employees

    I like it. Why should gov't employees be exempt from consequences? Clean house! You owe taxes? Pay them. Fair enough.

    March 3, 2010 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  5. Elizabeth Demko

    It's about time!

    March 3, 2010 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  6. Hi I'm TriG, and my mommy scares me :-(

    Not only is this bill reasonable it's alos a shame this hasn't been the standard to begin with.

    March 3, 2010 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  7. MJ

    Just because they have been elected into the Congress or Senate does not excuse there obligation to pay taxes. 8 Million? How about that America? Should they be excused from paying, or Obama forbid, from paying penalties?

    March 3, 2010 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  8. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    Is this the new witch hunt by a Republican?

    March 3, 2010 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  9. El Gordo

    Those folks should pay or go. Unless they have made payment arrangements with IRS, give them 90 days to pay up or sign a payment arrangement. The same goes for elected members of Congress, who are mysteriously unaffected by this bill.

    Look at the reasoning though. This Conservative is saying, "If Obama punishes companies, then I'll punish people." To Republicans, this is a nation of corporations, by corporations, and for corporations.

    March 3, 2010 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  10. Bennie Sowers

    congress makes the point on a daily basis that they are ALL corrupt it's time to get rid of all of them and start over perhaps the republicans and some democrats will see the light and remove themselves before this country dissolves itself from sheer corruption caused by congress!! we don't need them we can do bad all by ourselves at least we know what we need unlike congress who uses "the American people" phrase to carry out their agendas. what a sad commentary

    March 3, 2010 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  11. Bennie Sowers

    We the people are the only ones paying taxes congress members feel that they above the law and don't have to pay taxes where is the IRS that allows congress members to get away with not paying taxes for years on end many of them are delinquent on their taxes and they make big money why don't they pay up or be treated like Joe blow citizen is treated.

    March 3, 2010 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  12. Linda Tinjum

    Why single out Congressional staffers? Shouldn't Mr. Chaffetz also include in this bill members of Congress and candidates for Congress, and not just for income taxes, but for property taxes and payroll taxes, etc.?

    March 3, 2010 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |

    well there it folks the whole ploy plays out now

    the dems want to raise taxes so they can keep more by not paying them

    the republicans want to cut them in hopes they get low enough that they will catch up and they wont have to pay them


    March 3, 2010 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  14. annie against biased news

    WE THE PEOPLE who pay our taxes which provides the salaries for these political criminals would be in prison if we didn't pay our taxes. What prison cell is rangel and tiny timmie tax cheat in?

    March 3, 2010 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  15. Biased

    Good for him but watch all the democrats vote it down- you know their reputation for paying taxes, or not paying taxes until caught.

    March 3, 2010 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  16. GI Joe

    When is Senator Ensign going to get his come-uppence?

    March 3, 2010 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  17. annie against biased news

    Anyone ever notice how cnn (communist news network) puts obama articles in permalink so all the negative remarks about him are sealed but they get article on a republican and they leave it open for ever to read the comments?

    March 3, 2010 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  18. Obama the Arrogant Liar

    he better clear this with tax cheat Geitner...(a typical obama appointee)

    March 3, 2010 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    What key do you suppose you sing a directive in?

    "Chaffetz told CNN he got the idea for the legislation after he heard President Obama's remarks at the January 20 singing of a directive . . . '

    March 3, 2010 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  20. If you want someting taxed, and ruined, elect a democrat

    SWEET!!!! Let this bill come up for a vote. PLEASE.

    March 3, 2010 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  21. Pragmatic

    Just staffers or the congress-critters themselves???

    March 3, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  22. MariaCristina Hessels

    I would not do it because in most cases it means having to break the law by getting into the person's personal documents to verify the information, thus making the snitch no better person than the tax cheater. Thanks Mr. Cafferty, have a good week. Ms. Hessels, VA.

    March 3, 2010 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  23. Jenn, Philadelphia

    Why limit it to just staffers? Considering all the others with recent tax trouble, this law should be extended to members of Congress and the Administration.

    March 3, 2010 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  24. T'SAH from Virginia

    This sounds like a GOOD bipartisan move... let's see how far it gets!!

    March 3, 2010 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |

    Really!? A special bill is needed for this? Why not just use the existing laws to make them pay. Sounds like just another dumb GOP idiots idea of how waste time while appearing to be doing something.

    March 3, 2010 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
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