Republicans Ask Democrats To Please Leave Trump’s Tax Returns Alone
Republicans Ask Democrats To Please Leave Trump’s Tax Returns Alone
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11 February, 2019, 06:32
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., expressed confidence Thursday that the committee, which includes experienced members of congressional appropriations committee, could reach a deal.
"Every president should release his or her returns to the public as a matter of course", Democratic lawmaker Bill Pascrell told a Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight hearing. "You have to do it in very careful way".
Representative Suzan DelBene at a House Ways and Means Committee Oversight Subcommittee hearing on whether to compel candidates for United States president and vice president to release their tax records, on Capitol Hill in Washington February 7, 2019.
Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee face a dilemma that is already familiar in the first weeks of their majority.
Several academics, analysts and tax experts will attend the meeting, which starts at 2 p.m. EST.
"The American people have a right to know", Schiff said. "No one is above the law", he said.
The New Jersey Democrat has been pushing committee leaders for more than a year to use their authority to view private tax returns.
Representatives for Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin have said he would review any requests "for legality", suggesting the Trump administration would defy Congress ― and defy the law.
"We're looking to see if there's a way to get together in a comprehensive way - whether it's a barrier, whether it's a fence, whether it's technology, whether it's more personnel". But all signs from leadership point to a slower, more deliberative process. It's part of House Democrats' comprehensive elections and ethics reform package - their first major bill for the new Congress this year. "I go back to what my colleagues said about weaponizing the tax code and we should all be concerned about that". The law states that the chairmen of the Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means committee each have the power to request taxpayer information and states that "the secretary shall furnish such committee with any return or return information specified in such request". It is unclear how the agency will respond to that request and whether it will stall or resist efforts to turn over Trump's personal returns to the panel.
A refusal to provide the tax returns would be "uncharted territory", said George K. Yin, a professor at the University of Virginia School of Law and former chief of staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation.
"I've been asked, and I think I am going", said Yarmuth, a Kentucky Democrat.
The second audit, conducted with the committee, found unpaid back taxes of almost $480,000. Ways and Means member Ron Kind of Wisconsin, considered one of the most centrist House Democrats, said he thinks the idea could be a waste of time.
In tweets posted before his appearance at a national prayer breakfast, Trump singled out House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who announced Wednesday that his panel would scrutinize "credible reports of money laundering and financial compromise" involving Trump's businesses as part of a fresh investigation into Trump's alleged ties with Russian Federation. "From making it harder to register and stay on the rolls to moving and closing polling places to rejecting lawful ballots, we can no longer ignore these threats to democracy", she said. "That said, we're not going to overreach, we're not going to overinvestigate, we're not going to overpoliticize our constitutional responsibilities".
"I think overwhelmingly the public wants to see the president's tax returns". But the negotiations have been fraught from the beginning with numerous Democrats on the conference committee saying unequivocally they will not support wall funding.
The witnesses, however, argued that Congress sought Nixon's tax returns because they did not trust the IRS to properly audit the president's taxes without undue influence, and because tax returns contain different information than what's required by mandatory financial disclosures.
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