Senator Coburn Wants Federal Employees Who Owe Taxes To Pay Up Or Lose Jobs

Thursday, September 16th 2010, 11:46 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Don't pay your federal taxes? Don't expect to get a paycheck from the federal government.

That is the message U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, wants to send federal employees with two new bills he introduced to address the problem of federal employees, members of Congress and staff who are seriously delinquent in paying Uncle Sam.

Senate Bill 3790 would make federal employees who have seriously delinquent tax debts ineligible for federal employment. Senate Bill 3791 would require Members of Congress to disclose delinquent tax liability, require an ethics inquiry, and garnish the wages of a Member with federal tax liability, according to Coburn's Communications Director John Hart.

"Legislators and government employees should not be exempt from the laws they write and enforce. The very nature of ‘public service' demands those being paid by taxpayers contribute their fair share of taxes. They should lead by example or be held accountable if they believe they are above the law," said Senator Coburn.

According to CBS News EconWatch, the Internal Revenue Service found nearly 100,000 civilian federal employees were delinquent on their federal income taxes, owing more than $1 billion in unpaid federal income taxes. When considering retirees and military, more than 282,000 federal employees owed $3.3 billion in taxes.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, authored a similar House of Representatives bill in March of this year. Dr. Coburn's legislation (S.3790) is a companion bill to Representative Chaffetz's bill (H.R. 4735).

Chaffetz's bill has been referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, where it remains, according to Coburn's office.

CBS News contributed to this story.