Remember way back when, you know, that time that Trump promised to release his tax returns if he ever ran for president. Oh, and there were those numerous times during the campaign that he promised he’d release them after the IRS was done with their audit. This of course, is an ALTERNATIVE FACT since the IRS stated repeatedly that there is nothing preventing Trump from releasing his returns while they are under audit. [Interesting side note: Every president since Richard Nixon has released their tax returns either during the campaign or upon taking office. Nixon even released his tax returns when they were under IRS audit in the midst of the Watergate scandal.]
Then came the assertion from the Queen of Alternative Facts that the American public was not interested in seeing the president’s tax returns. Well, not exactly your Alt-Fact Highness. In fact, 1.1 MILLION people signed a petition demanding the immediate release of those pesky, elusive taxes.
Fast forward to earlier this week when House Republicans voted in typical lock-step (or is that goose-step) fashion to block a resolution that would have forced Trump to turn his tax returns over to Congress.
The measure was introduced by Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), a member of the House Ways and Means Committee. Under a 1924 law, the Ways and Means Committee is empowered to examine tax returns. The committee could then decide to release them to the full Congress, effectively making them public.
Pascrell first brought his request to the Chairman of the Ways and Mean Committee, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX). Brady rejected the request, citing concern for Trump’s “civil liberties.”
Pascrell was able to bring the issue to a full vote on the floor through a vehicle known as a “privileged resolution.”
“The American people have the right to know whether or not their president is operating under conflicts of interest related to international affairs, tax reform, government contracts or otherwise,” Pascrell sanely said.
Republicans in the House disagreed, virtually unanimously. Nearly every Republican voted to kill Pascrell’s resolution and keep Trump’s tax returns secret. No Republicans voted to require Trump to hand over his tax returns. (Two Republicans, including Mark Sanford of South Carolina, voted “present.”)
185 Democrats voted in favor of Pascrell’s efforts, to no avail.
As noted earlier, nearly 1.1 million have officially signed a White House petition demanding the release of those returns. Raising the question, who exactly are these Republicans working for? Their constituents or the party? The people who voted them into office or the people who pay for election ads to persuade those voters to vote against their best interests?