(Updated Aug. 1 12:30 p.m. to include information about the House vote)
A bill passed by the House Tuesday means federal employees with serious tax debt could get the pink slip.
The House voted 263-116 to approve the Federal Employee Tax Accountability Act and send it to the Senate.
The measure would make those are who are seriously delinquent ineligible for federal employment, whether they’re working for the government now or are applying for a job. Applicants would have to certify that they were not seriously delinquent and agencies would conduct periodic reviews of public records for tax liens.
The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), would require job applicants to certify they have no serious tax debt.
And Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), the chief sponsor of the bill, said the problem of tax-delinquent feds has barely improved over the past decade.
There were 102,794 federal employees who were delinquent with their federal taxes 2004 and only a slight drop to 98,291 in 2010 — including some 700 congressional employees, he said.
“If you work for the federal government and you don’t pay your taxes, you should be fired. It is totally unacceptable to live on the federal payroll and not pay your taxes,” Chaffetz said in a statement earlier this year.
“This bill is about accountability. The public trust has been violated by abusive use of government charge cards. The federal bureaucracy needs to improve the way it manages the use of these cards,” Grassley said in a statement.
The legislation would require credit checks for travel card holders and issue “restricted cards” for feds with poor or no credit. It would also set up training for cardholders and managers.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report).
Tom Temin is the host of The Federal Drive, which airs from 6-9 a.m. on 1500 AM in the Washington, DC region and online everywhere. Tom has 30 years experience in journalism, mostly in technology markets. Before coming to Federal News Radio, he was a long-serving editor-in-chief of Government Computer News and Washington Technology magazines.