As a revenue offset to S. 1269, “An original bill to reauthorize trade facilitation and trade enforcement functions and activities, and for other purposes”, which was introduced on Monday, Orrin Hatch (R-UT) includes the following unoriginal and tired proposal:
SEC. 7345. Revocation or denial of passport in case of certain tax delinquencies.
(a) In general.—If the Secretary receives certification by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue that any individual has a seriously delinquent tax debt in an amount in excess of $50,000, the Secretary shall transmit such certification to the Secretary of State for action with respect to denial, revocation, or limitation of a passport pursuant to section 1001(d) of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015.
This proposal was previously discussed here in 2012, and made its most recent appearance in 2014. Due to the U.S.’ sharply harsher penalty structure on under-reporting of similar assets & items of income simply because they’re located in another country, it’s likely that a disproportionate number of victims of this bill would be U.S. citizens in other countries. Hatch is the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and the most prominent Republican supporter of Chuck Schumer (D-NY)’s Ex-PATRIOT Act, another well-known emigrant harassment proposal.
Another section of Hatch’s bill would deny U.S. passports to people without Social Security numbers, sharpening an existing law which requires the State Department to forward passport applicants’ details to the IRS. This would effectively require that U.S. citizens born in other countries obtain SSNs prior to visiting the United States. (Under current procedures, U.S. citizen without SSNs are simply instructed to enter all zeroes in the SSN field of their passport applications.) However, unregistered children of emigrants might just ignore the law requiring U.S. citizens to use a U.S. passport to enter the U.S., and instead use their non-U.S. passport.