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House Democrats Divided On Strategy To Force Release Of Trump's Tax Returns

10 February 2019

According to a report in The Daily Wire, the Democrats have targeted the Republican president with a proposal that seeks the presidential and vice-presidential candidates to disclose their respective federal income-tax returns if they want their names to feature on the ballot. The law says the Treasury chief "shall furnish" the requested information to the members of the Ways and Means Committee for them to examine behind closed doors.

Thursday's hearing is created to build a case for Neal's authority to request Trump's returns, said Andy Grewal, a tax law professor at the University of Iowa.

That's partly why a House Ways and Means subcommittee brought in tax experts on Thursday to explore the issue further. Their newly energized leftward wing is pushing Neal to set the quest in motion, and fast.

Thursday morning began with tweets on the topic. "We're going to have a disaster supplemental for the affected areas", he said.

Senate Democratic members of the bipartisan, bicameral conference committee met with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer at noon Thursday.

Ever since the Democratic Party took control of the US House of Representatives in the mid-term elections last November, they have emerged as a confident lot.

"The whole idea that a president-whether it's President Trump or President Warren or President Sanders-can declare and emergency and then somehow usurp the separation of powers and get into the business of appropriating money for specific projects without Congress getting involved is a serious constitutional question", Cornyn said Monday.

It is legally hard for the White House to move money that was appropriated for one objective and spend it on something else, which is one primary reason Trump has pushed Congress to authorize construction of the wall.

Down Pennsylvania Avenue at the Capitol, the mood among negotiators was distinctly upbeat, with participants in the talks between the Democratic- controlled House and Republican-held Senate predicting a deal could come as early as this weekend. "There is no end in sight for those whose tax information may be in jeopardy".

Republican lawmaker Mike Kelly argued the move would set a risky precedent, saying "an abuse of power would open a Pandora's box that would be tough to get a lid back on". "It would set a very risky precedent".

Outside advocacy groups including Tax March, Indivisible and Stand Up America have started a campaign to persuade Neal to ask for the returns.

But Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., insisted that no one, including the president, is above the law. "The law is on our side".

"It's not a question of just sending a letter", Pelosi said.

House Democrats have a long list of Trump-focused issues to probe after being stifled for two years by majority Republicans. The legislation also would make it easier for citizens to register and vote, and ban executive-branch officials from lobbying their old agency for two years after they leave government.

It was unclear exactly what types of barriers or fencing would be funded, and whether Trump would conclude the structures meet his definition of a wall.

There is another alternative, of course, the House and Senate could decide to call the President's bluff and dare him to veto a package that has widespread, possibly even veto-proof, bipartisan support, thus leading to another government shutdown on February 15th unless the veto can be overridden.

On Friday, Democrats are hauling Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker before Congress for the first time.

"Weaponizing the tax code for political purposes sets a risky precedent", Brady, R-Texas, told reporters on Wednesday. Robert Dole. During the 2016 campaign, Vice President Mike Pence released 10 years of his tax returns covering 2006-2015.

Trump has repeatedly declared his innocence, claiming that the growing investigations, which also include probes by federal prosecutors in NY, are politically motivated.

House Democrats Divided On Strategy To Force Release Of Trump's Tax Returns