House Democrats to decide on releasing Trump’s tax returns

Politics

Former President Donald Trump speaks at an event at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

(NewsNation) — A Democrat-led House committee is set to decide Tuesday whether to release information about former President Donald Trump’s tax returns.

The House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee said there will be a vote at 3 p.m. ET on making six years of Trump’s tax records public.

Unlike other presidential candidates, Trump refused to share his returns, and fought Democrats’ efforts to get access to them. While candidates are not legally required to release this information, it’s something presidential hopefuls from both parties have done voluntarily for decades.

Last month, the Supreme Court denied Trump’s request for a temporary order blocking Ways and Means Committee members from accessing the tax returns, ending a yearslong fight for them.

While Trump’s returns are still subject to confidentiality restrictions, Reuters reports that Democrats controlling the committee can still vote to make some details of them public.

Democrats and tax experts will comb through the returns to see what Trump did to lower his tax bills and if he benefited from tax policies he backed as president, The New York Times reported.

Previously, the newspaper uncovered that Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes the year he won the presidency, and another $750 during his first year in the White House. In 10 of the previous 15 years, Trump had paid no income taxes at all, according to the Times, because he reported losing much more money than he made.

After the Supreme Court OK’d the handover of the tax returns to the Ways and Means panel, Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., the current committee chair, said members will now be able to “conduct the oversight we’ve sought for the last three and a half years.”

“Since the Magna Carta, the principle of oversight has been upheld, and today is no different,” he said in a November statement. “This rises above politics.”

Republicans, on the other hand, said releasing the former president’s tax returns would set a damaging precedent, NewsNation partner The Hill reported.

“Ways and Means Democrats are unleashing a dangerous new political weapon that reaches far beyond President Trump, and jeopardizes the privacy of every American,” the committee’s Republican leader Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas said in a statement on Saturday, per The Hill. “Going forward, partisans in Congress have nearly unlimited power to target political enemies by obtaining and making public their private tax returns to embarrass and destroy them.”

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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