In 2016, then-candidate for president, Donald Trump, made several excuses for why he wouldn’t release his tax returns, a practice that candidates before him had done for several decades prior.
At one point, Trump erroneously claimed that an audit from the IRS prevented him from disclosing them, and later stated that Americans didn’t care about them so he wasn’t going to release them. Trump has even suggested that the American people wouldn’t understand what’s in his taxes, so making them public would be pointless, according to reporting from Politico.
But two years after his election, Americans still want to see the tax returns. And Democrats are planning to implement ways to force Trump and other candidates to make them public in the future.
As part of a planned bill, named H.R. 1, in the next Congressional term Democrats in the House of Representatives are set to include a requirement for any candidate running for the presidency (and vice presidency) to disclose 10 years of their tax records to the Federal Elections Commission, according to reporting from CNN. Two sources speaking on the matter said the FEC would then publish those tax returns on its website, allowing for the public to see them firsthand.
It’s an issue that the public, contrary to what Trump has suggested, wants the new Congress to pursue. In a post-midterms election poll conducted by Harvard University in late November, 63 percent of Americans said they wanted newly-sworn in lawmakers to pursue ways to make Trump’s taxes public record.
— Ken Dilanian (@KenDilanianNBC) December 20, 2018
The measure will likely face backlash, however, for several reasons. H.R. 1 contains many proposals that likely won’t get passed in the U.S. Senate. This provision in particular likely couldn’t pass on its own, for instance, because that chamber of Congress will still be controlled by Republicans.
However, Democrats have other options in mind that could help them expose Trump’s taxes. They could, for instance, subpoena his tax records since they will soon control House committees. From there, it’s possible they could make those records available to the public.
Such a maneuver would likely take some time to get accomplished, however, as the Trump administration would probably sue to prevent their release.
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Chris Walker is a freelance writer based out of Madison, Wisconsin. A millennial with more than a decade of journalism experience, Chris aims to provide readers with the latest and most accurate news of national importance. Chris likes to spend his free time doing activities in his community with his family.