Paul blocks vote on tax treaty

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Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) stopped Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) from setting up a vote on a tax treaty with Chile.

Menendez said the treaty would promote trade and investments between the United States and Chile, as well as allow both nations’ tax authorities to exchange information to prevent income tax evasion.

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But Paul said the treaty violates U.S. citizens’ rights to privacy.

“The vast majority of Americans are law abiding,” Paul said on the Senate floor Wednesday. “They do have a right to privacy.”

Paul said he’d happily work with Menendez to clean up language in the treaty. Paul said previous tax treaties have required the government to get a warrant to obtain foreign bank records but that this treaty allows the government to look into any accounts that might be used to avoid paying taxes.

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) also tried to set up a vote on a Swiss tax protocol to hold tax evaders accountable, but Paul objected to that for the same reasons.