California Senate Passes Bill to Keep Trump Off 2020 State Ballot
Bill requires presidential candidates to make 5 years' tax returns public
The California state Senate approved a bill that would remove all candidates from the presidential primary ballot — including President Donald Trump — unless they release five years' worth of income tax returns.
The measure passed with a 27-10 vote, according to The Associated Press.
For the first time, California will be one of the first states to hold its presidential primary in the 2020 cycle.
The bill follows Trump's insistence that he will not make his tax returns public due to his personal taxes currently undergoing an audit.
Should the bill become law, and Trump does not release his returns, the president's name may not appear on California primary ballot.
"We believe that President Trump, if he truly doesn’t have anything to hide, should step up and release his tax returns,” said co-author of the bill, Democratic state Sen. Mike McGuire, according to the AP.
For the past 40 years, every US President has released their #taxreturns. That is, until @realDonaldTrump took office. SB27 - which passed 27-10 in the Senate - will make presidential tax returns public in CA just in time for the 2020 election. Great teamwork with @Scott_Wiener! pic.twitter.com/ujVr0KHnVF— Mike McGuire (@ilike_mike) May 3, 2019
All ten Republicans in the state Senate voted against the controversial bill.
“I get that playing the resistance card may be good politics for the majority party, but I would submit that it’s bad policy for Californians,” GOP Sen. Brian Jones said in a statement.
According to the Washington Times, the state Senate passed an identical bill in 2017, but it was vetoed by then-California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat.
Democrats hope new Gov. Gavin Newsom will back them this time around, though Newsom has yet to say if he will sign it.
Dems want President’s tax returns for purely political purposes!— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) April 6, 2019
Frightening, but shouldn’t surprise us—same folks used the IRS to target Americans for their political beliefs!
The bill will "be evaluated on its own merits,” the governor's spokesman, Brian Ferguson, said to the AP.
“I never want to put words into his mouth, but here’s what I’ll say: Gov. Newsom has led by example,” by releasing his own tax returns, McGuire told the AP.
Trump is facing one primary challenger, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld (R).
Similar bills are making their way through the Washington and New Jersey state legislatures.