House to hold hearing on bill requiring release of US presidential tax returns

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JANUARY 30, 2019

A House panel is planning to hold a hearing next week on the portion of House Democrats’ good-government bill that would require presidents to release their tax returns, according to a House Democratic aide.

The hearing is expected to be held Feb. 7 by the House Ways and Means Committee’s oversight subcommittee. It is part of a series of hearing that Democrats are holding on their ethics package, known as H.R 1.

Under the legislation, presidents and vice presidents, and major-party candidates for those offices, would be required to disclose 10 years of tax returns with the Federal Election Commission. The FEC would then make the documents publicly available.

Democrats have been pushing to require presidents to disclose their tax returns because President Trump is the first president in decades to break with custom and refuse to make his tax documents public. Democrats want to examine Trump’s returns to learn about any conflicts of interest that Trump may have.

The leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus are pushing for H.R. 1 to be updated to require the disclosure of business tax returns in addition to personal tax filings.

The House is expected to pass H.R. 1, but the Republican-controlled Senate isn’t expected to take it up.

Separately, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) is expected to try to obtain Trump’s tax returns by requesting them from the Treasury Department. A provision in the federal tax code gives the chairmen of Congress’s tax committees the authority to request the documents from Treasury and view them in a closed session.

Some progressive groups and lawmakers are urging Neal to make the request promptly. Neal has said he plans to request the returns but is proceeding carefully on the issue because the issue is likely to end up in court.

“This is a legal proceeding,” he told reporters Wednesday.


Courtesy/Source: The Hill