WASHINGTON, D.C. (WSAV) – One senator is working on a plan to pay out millions in unclaimed savings bonds, but the U.S. Department of the Treasury is fighting back.
Louisiana Senator John Kennedy says the U.S. Department of the Treasury is holding onto $26 billion that doesn’t belong to them.
“If you don’t pay your taxes in the right amount and on time, the IRS will chase you like a hound from Hades,” Kennedy said. “They’ll take your first born. Well, here’s a case where the government owes people money.”
Kennedy is Louisiana’s former state treasurer. His legislation would force the U.S. Department of the Treasury to share the names and addresses of people with unclaimed savings bonds with state treasury departments.
The federal government has argued in court that the states have no ownership claim over the bonds and that it would take too much time and money to organize the records.
“Well, if you believe that, you probably also believe Big Foot,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy is in charge of the treasury’s budget. On Wednesday, his subcommittee advanced an appropriation bill that includes his legislation and an extra $25 million to digitize the unclaimed savings bonds records. However, the department could still fight to remove the provisions.
“At some point if my friends at treasury don’t come around, I’m going to go see the president straight up, man to man and just say, ‘Mr. President, this just isn’t right’,” Kennedy said.
To find out if you have unclaimed savings bonds, you have to mail in a form to the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Download the form here: https://www.treasurydirect.gov/forms/sav1048.pdf