Politics

Harry Reid open to bill that would fire federal workers owing $1 billion total in back taxes [VIDEO]

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Nicholas Ballasy
Senior Video Reporter
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      Nicholas Ballasy

      Nicholas Ballasy is the Senior Video Reporter for The Daily Caller covering Congress and national politics. Ballasy has interviewed a wide range of political leaders and celebrities including former President Bill Clinton, Sen. John McCain, Sen. John Kerry, former Gov. Mitt Romney, former House Speakers Nancy Pelosi and Newt Gingrich, Kevin Spacey, Tom Hanks, Whoopi Goldberg, Richard Dreyfuss, Harrison Ford, Matt Damon, Joan Rivers, Gloria Estefan, Jon Stewart, Dave Matthews, Neil Munro, Stevie Wonder, etc. His work has been featured by CNN, Fox News, NBC, CBS, ABC, The Drudge Report, Washington Post and New York Times, among others.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was asked by The Daily Caller if he thinks the roughly 100,000 federal employees who owe a combined $1.03 billion in federal taxes should be fired if they are not paying down their tax debt.

“Well, I think it’s certainly something we should take a look at, but, you know, there — I guess there could be a reason. I haven’t been part of any hearings, if in fact hearings were held,” Reid told TheDC during a media availability at the Capitol on Tuesday.

“But I would assume, just to have a carte blanche to fire everybody, someone could have had a death in the family, someone that’s really sick. So I think we have to be careful in throwing these blanket restrictions on people.”

The total dollar amount of taxes owed by federal employees is $3.4 billion if retirees and military personal are included (almost 280,000 workers), according the most recent IRS data available.

The GOP-controlled House is expected to vote Tuesday on H.R. 828, which says that “any person who has a seriously delinquent tax debt” would be “ineligible to be appointed or to continue serving as an employee.”

The legislation gives the individuals 180 days to demonstrate that they are paying off the debt.

Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn has sponsored the bill in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

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