Obamacare will create a huge national repository of personal information — “and the problem is that this information doesn’t have a lot of safeguards,” Rep. Diane Black tells Newsmax TV in an exclusive interview.
“All of this personal information will be put into one database,” the Tennessee Republican tells Newsmax. “This is the first time in the history that we know of our country where we've had so much sensitive personal information all in one spot that can be used by our government. There's a lot of uncertainty there.”
The Obamacare database is being culled from information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Internal Revenue Service, the Justice Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration.
The IRS is involved in 47 separate Obamacare provisions. For instance, the agency will implement the Obamacare requirement to purchase coverage by checking whether millions of Americans are in compliance.
A member of the House Ways and Means Committee, Black introduced legislation last week to make this massive database more secure.
“It helps to put some safeguards there, especially considering what happened with the IRS and their misuse of our information in targeting people with deeply held beliefs,” Black says.
The first-term congressman says her fears were heightened by the disclosures of the National Security Agency obtaining the telephone records of millions of Americans who are Verizon customers.
“We're concerned about any information that this administration has at this point in time,” Black tells Newsmax. “There's just a big trust factor that has certainly hit the American people in all of these scandals. It all goes down to a trust factor.
“When you have a government as large as this government is, this is what happens when you have a bureaucracy so large and so powerful that you don't have control.”
She said that the House Ways and Means Committee, which is chaired by GOP Rep. Dave Camp of Michigan, will continue its investigation into the IRS’ targeting of tea party, religious and conservative groups in their applications for tax-exempt status.
“We are doing investigations — and we do intend on getting to the bottom of who was it that gave the directive to target these groups. How were they held accountable? Ultimately, were they fired or are they being held accountable for names of donors being given out?
“We know that that is against the law, so we're going to do our work,” Black adds. “We’re going to do our investigation, our research — and we're going to get to the bottom of this. We're not letting it go until we do.”
Black also was among several House members who introduced legislation on Wednesday to strengthen the nation’s borders.
The SMART Border Act of 2013 would improve technology and law-enforcement coordination at the borders — and would authorize the deployment of 10,000 members of the National Guard at the discretion of state governors to assist in the effort.
If the borders are not secured within a year, the legislation calls for the immediate hiring of 1,500 U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Agents to get the job done.
“There are some areas of the border right now that are secure and there are measurements there to show that the technology has worked,” Black tells Newsmax. “Technology not always is best, because there are places on the border that technology may not be the best way. We may actually have to increase the amount of physical bodies that we have there.
“We also provided that Homeland Security come before the Congress with a study to show that these numbers [of illegal immigrants crossing the border into the United States] actually have decreased and that they can show that the penetration is at least 90 percent secure.
“Once they do that, then that information would also come to Congress, who would verify that information — and only at that point in time can we move on to the next step.”
Reflecting on the debacle surrounding the 1986 immigration amnesty bill signed by President Ronald Reagan, Black says: “We don't want déjà vu on that — and we want to be sure that the number one thing that we do is we fix the problem of the border before we actually talk about anything else. That's the number one priority in my mind.
“We need immigration reform, but we must do it in an order where we can assure the American people that we're doing the most important thing — border security, first and foremost — and then we can go on to talk about the other issues that are needed in immigration reform.”
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