On 2/13/17 Newsweek published a Reuters news-feed, “U.S. HOUSE WILL NOT SEEK TRUMP’S TAX RETURNS, DENYING DEMOCRATS REQUEST.
We who are a part of the resistance need to contact the office of Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) at phone: (202) 225-4901, to demand that he request the president’s IRS tax returns as per the 1924 law that entitles him to do so. As head of the US House’s Ways And Means Committee, he has to be the one to officially make this request. Here is a link for other contact information, Contact – Kevin Brady – U.S. House of Representatives.
“A congressional tax oversight committee will not seek U.S. President Donald Trump’s tax returns, despite calls from Democrats for a review to determine possible business ties to foreign countries including Russia, the panel’s Republican chairman said on Monday 2/13/17.”
“If Congress begins to use its powers to rummage around in the tax returns of the president, what prevents Congress from doing the same to average Americans?” House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady told reporters.”
“Privacy and civil liberties are still important rights in this country, and (the) Ways and Means Committee is not going to start to weaken them.”
“The Texas Republican was responding to questions about a Feb. 1 request from Representative Bill Pascrell, a Ways and Means Democrat who asked him to obtain Trump’s returns from Treasury so the committee could review them in closed session and vote on whether to release them to the public.”
“Defying decades of precedent, Trump has long refused to release the documents, which Democrats say could show whether his sprawling business empire poses any conflicts of interest as he moves forward with initiatives on issues ranging from tax reform to foreign relations.”
On 2/7/17, George K. Yin, a professor of law and taxation at the University of Virginia and a former chief of staff of the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation has penned an article on this 1924 law for the Washington Post.
Here are excerpts from the op-ed piece, “Congress has the power to obtain and release Trump’s tax returns:”
“Though our new president may not realize it, Congress has the power to obtain his tax returns and reveal them to the public without his consent, including returns under audit. As just urged by Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-N.J.), legislators seeking information on President Trump’s possible conflicts of interest should immediately exercise this authority rather than wait for the passage of new veto-proof legislation — a highly uncertain prospect — that would have the same effect.”
“The ability of Congress to disclose confidential tax information was added to the law almost 100 years ago. Since the Civil War, when it began requiring taxpayers to submit private information to the government to comply with the tax laws, Congress has struggled to balance the privacy interests of taxpayers with the public’s right to know. Eventually, Congress decided that tax information should remain confidential except in two situations. First, it authorized the president to determine whether any tax information could be disclosed. And, in 1924, it gave the same power to certain congressional committees.”
On 2/11/17 Jonathan D. Salante of NJ.com penned this article, “Can Trump be forced to release his tax returns?”
“While President Donald Trump continues to refuse to release his tax returns to the American public, he can’t deny a request from Congress.”
“So says U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-9th Dist.), the only New Jersey member of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.”
“In a letter to committee chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas), Pascell asked him to request that the U.S. Treasury Department turn over 10 years of Trump’s tax returns, and let the lawmakers decide whether to make them public.”
“President Trump is now governing while also owning a business with international investments,” Pascrell said. “The Constitution faces unprecedented threats due to this arrangement. I believe the powerful Ways and Means Committee has the responsibility to use that power to ensure proper oversight of the executive branch by requesting a review of President Trump’s tax returns.”
“Pascrell said that Congress needs the returns to be able to see whether there are any conflicts of interest between White House actions and Trump’s businesses.“For example, Trump’s executive order banning travel from seven Muslim nations excludes those where his companies have investments.”
“President Trump has chosen to keep an ownership stake in his businesses, the scope of which we have no knowledge of as he has refused to disclose his tax returns,” Pascrell said. “None of these potential conflicts can be verified until and unless we have disclosure from President Trump.”