House Dems Pass Bill Requiring Presidents to Disclose Their Tax Returns
The bill, known as H.R. 1, passed on a party-line vote of 234-193
House Democrats passed legislation requiring presidents to disclose their tax returns, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi vows that Presdient Donald Trump's is their 'top priority.'
The new tax return disclosure requirement was part of the House Democrats’ wide-ranging election reform bill, which rejected the motion to condemn illegal immigrant voting.
The bill, known as H.R. 1, passed on a party-line vote of 234-193.
But the H.R. 1 is not assumed to take a vote in the Republican-controlled Senate.
Under the Democrats new legislation, presidents, vice presidents, and major-party presidential nominees would be required to disclose ten years of tax returns to the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
The returns would then be made publically available by the agency.
According to The Hill: If a candidate or office-holder fails to disclose their returns, the FEC chairman will send a request to the Treasury secretary to obtain copies of the documents.
An amendment was added to the bill this week so that under the legislation, office-holders and candidates would be obligated to disclose both their personal and business tax returns.
The tax return provisions are based on legislation offered by Reps. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) and Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.).
Pascrell said Friday that he and Eshoo “believe that we need to write it into the record that it is demanded of everybody who runs for the presidency.”
Democrats included the tax return provisions in H.R. 1 to highlight the fact that Trump is the first president in decades to refuse to voluntarily release his tax documents.
Trump has said he won't release his returns while under audit, but the IRS has said that audits don't prevent people from disclosing their tax information.
Nancy Pelosi Pushes Voting Rights for Illegal Immigrant ‘Newcomers’ Democrat says the US should not be 'suppressing the vote of our newcomers to America'— mary (@Marlor18) March 7, 2019
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The vote also comes as House Democrats appear to be moving toward requesting Trump’s tax returns from Treasury.
Democrats want to review Trump’s returns to learn about any potential conflicts of interest, especially any entanglements with foreign governments.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) has the authority under the statute to request tax returns from the Treasury Department.
The Ways and Means Committee could then review the returns privately and vote to send a report to the House that could make some or all of the information in the returns public.
Neal has not given a timeline for when he'll request Trump’s tax returns, but others have predicted that it will be soon.
Pascrell earlier this week predicted that Neal would request within the next couple of weeks.
When asked Friday if Neal has given him a timetable, Pascrell said Neal hadn’t made a final decision.