In a move with little legislative hope but massive symbolic significance, House Democrats made their boldest play yet to force the President to release his tax returns. If they succeed, they could derail any hopes Trump and Republicans have of reforming the tax code later this year.
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), floated a resolution directing the House to delay the introduction of any tax-reform bills until Congress can review President Trump’s tax returns.
The logic is simple: how can Americans consider any tax-reforms until they know if or how those reforms might benefit their President?
In anticipation of being rebuffed by the White House outright, Rep. Jeffries’ resolution calls for Trump’s taxes to be reviewed in closed sessions by the House Ways and Means committee.
According to a story published by The Hill:
“Jeffries, a member of House Democratic leadership and the House Judiciary Committee, offered his measure as “privileged,” which would mean that the House would have to act on it within two legislative days.
Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Ga.), who was presiding over the House, said that a ruling on whether the bill is privileged would be made at a later point.
Past Democratic resolutions on Trump’s tax returns were ruled not to be privileged. The House has voted largely along party lines on motions to table appeals of those rulings.”
Efforts by Democrats in congress to compel the President to release his tax returns have all been stonewalled by the GOP. And while there’s little reason to believe that Republicans will be any more receptive to Rep. Jeffries’ resolution, Democrats are confident that the American public will demand at least this basic demonstration of transparency from their President before any alterations of the tax code are considered.