Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) on Wednesday introduced legislation enabling the federal government to fire workers who fail to pay their taxes and prohibits potential employees with serious tax issues from being hired. He seeks to add the measure to jobs legislation being debated in the House on Thursday.  

“Federal employees have an obvious obligation to pay their federal income taxes,” Chaffetz said in prepared remarks. “Because they draw their compensation from the American taxpayers, federal employees owe it to the taxpayers themselves to pay their taxes. If not, they should be fired.”

The congressman points to IRS data that showed nearly 100,000 federal civilian employees owed $962 million in unpaid federal income taxes in 2008. When retirees and military are included, more than 276,000 people owed $3 billion. Currently, only IRS employees can be terminated for non-payment of federal income taxes.

Calculations supplied by Chaffetz’s office showed that postal service employers owe an eye-popping $297,933,756. Retired military personnel owe over $1.3 billion.