From Josh Marshall:
This weekend Congress was working on a massive $388 billion omnibus spending bill that will cover all manner of federal spending. But at the request of Rep. Ernest Istook of Oklahoma, chairman of the House Appropriations Transportation Subcommittee, a special provision was inserted into the bill which allows the Chairmen of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees or their "agents" to review any American's tax return with no restrictions whatsoever.Let's hope the GOPers will get their story straight in time for the Sunday shows.
Specifically, none of the privacy law restrictions -- or the criminal and civil penalties tied to them -- would apply when the Chair or anybody he or she designates as his or her "agent" looked at your tax return.
Sen. Stevens of Alaska, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, originally blamed the provision on a 'staffer'. But later, according to the AP, Sen. Frist and "congressional aides" said it was inserted at the behest of Rep. Istook.