The House failed to pass a measure on Wednesday to prohibit anyone with tax delinquencies from working for the federal government.

House Republicans considered a series of tax-related legislation on Wednesday to commemorate Tax Day, the annual deadline for Americans to file their returns.

The House considered the bills under a fast-track procedure known as suspension of the rules, which requires a two-thirds majority for passage. While the measure received a simple majority of 266-160, it needed 18 more votes to achieve the necessary two-thirds threshold.


But the House did pass a related bill, 424-0, prohibiting the federal government from awarding contracts or grants with companies or individuals with delinquent tax debt.

The tax delinquency rate among federal employees in 2014 was 3.1 percent, less than half of the 8.7 percent rate among the general public.

A provision in the bill would allow exemptions for federal employees on a case-by-case basis if they are undergoing financial hardship.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzCongress's latest hacking investigation should model its most recent Fox News Audio expands stable of podcasts by adding five new shows The myth of the conservative bestseller MORE (R-Utah), the author of both measures, said they would eliminate irresponsible and incompetent federal workers.

"We can make sure we get the best federal employees, but weed out the bad apples. I want to see people on both sides of the aisle say, let's pat the backs of the overwhelming majority of patriotic, hardworking, dedicated employees, but we're going to get rid of the bad apples," Chaffetz said.

But Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), whose Northern Virginia district includes thousands of federal workers working in or near Washington, D.C., said the bill unfairly targeted civil servants.

"We must hold our civil servants to the highest standards. They have just as much an obligation as anyone else to responsibly pay their taxes on time and in full. But this legislation exaggerates the issue and then scapegoats the federal workforce," Beyer said in a statement.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), who also has a large group of federal workers in his district, said the bill seemed meant to appease people who are dissatisfied with government as a whole.

"What is this all about? This is about frankly saying government is bad and the people who work for it aren't so hot either," Hoyer said.

The House also passed a series of bills earlier Wednesday to prevent another IRS targeting scandal as part of its messaging for Tax Day.