Boehner: New law to punish tax-dodgers for renouncing citizenship 'unnecessary'

House Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerHouse GOP faces dilemma on spending bills Overnight Finance: Puerto Rico bill clears panel | IRS chief vows to finish term | Bill would require nominees to release tax returns Overnight Defense: Pentagon chief fears sequestration's return MORE (R-Ohio) said Sunday supported legislation to punish individuals who renounced their citizenship in order to avoid paying U.S. taxes, but said such measures were already law.

"There's already a law in the books," BoehnerJohn BoehnerHouse GOP faces dilemma on spending bills Overnight Finance: Puerto Rico bill clears panel | IRS chief vows to finish term | Bill would require nominees to release tax returns Overnight Defense: Pentagon chief fears sequestration's return MORE told ABC's George Stephanopoulos in an interview on ABC's "This Week." "It's already against the law."

Democratic Sens. Charles SchumerCharles SchumerOvernight Healthcare: House, Senate on collision course over Zika funding Ryan goes all-in on Puerto Rico Cruz's dad: Trump 'would be worse than Hillary Clinton' MORE (N.Y.) and Bob CaseyBob CaseyLawmakers blast poultry, meat industries over worker injuries GOP chairman sees funding deal soon on medical cures bill Overnight Healthcare: House takes first step on opioids bills MORE Jr. (Pa.) announced legislation last week designed to punish people who renounce their citizenship in order to dodge taxes. 

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Their bill, the Ex-Patriot Act, is a direct response to Eduardo Saverin, the co-founder of Facebook, who renounced his U.S. citizenship last year, and the senators had harsh words for what they called Saverin's "scheme" to avoid paying taxes on his interest in the company, which went public last week. 

Saverin's move saved him an estimated $67 million to $100 million in taxes. The wealthy technology investor however has said his change in citizenship was not an effort to avoid American taxes.

Boehner on Sunday said it is "absolutely outrageous" for anyone to renounce their citizenship in order to avoid taxes.

The Casey and Schumer legislation would punish any individual who renounces their citizenship and holds a net worth of $2 million or an average income tax liability of $148,000 over the last five years.

If the Internal Revenue Service determines that person gave up their passport for primarily tax reasons, the person's U.S. assets would be taxed at 30 percent and they would be barred from ever re-entering the United States.

Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin HatchGOP senator reacts to Garland meeting before it happens Senate amendments could sink email privacy compromise Overnight Defense: VA chief 'deeply' regrets Disney remark; Senate fight brews over Gitmo MORE (R-Utah), the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, said his Democratic colleagues were overlooking the "root cause" of Saverin's actions. A spokesperson from his office released a statement last week saying that wealthy expatriates seeking to renounce their American citizenship is a sign that the tax code needs to be fixed.

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