Bill Would Require Nominees to Release Tax Returns
Sen. Ron Wyden introduced a new bill on Tuesday that would force potential presidential nominees to release their tax returns.
The Hill reports:
The bill comes as likely GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump continues to refuse to release his tax records.
Trump has said he won’t release them until he is done being audited by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). But the IRS has said nothing prevents anyone from releasing their own returns, including an audit.
Wyden, the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, pointed out that major-party candidates for almost 40 years have consistently released their tax returns. The Oregon senator has endorsed Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton, who has released more than 30 years of her returns.
“Tax returns deliver honest answers to key questions from the American public,” Wyden said in a news release. “Do you even pay taxes? Do you give to charity? Are you abusing tax loopholes at the expense of middle class families? Are you keeping your money offshore? People have a right to know.”
Wyden’s bill would direct a presidential nominee to release the three most recent years of his or her tax returns to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) within 15 days of becoming the nominee at a party convention. If a candidate does not release his or her returns within the designated time period, the Treasury secretary will provide the returns directly to the FEC.
The senator said in a call with reporters that he is going to try to get Republicans to sponsor his bill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said recently that tradition is for presidential candidates to release returns.
“I’m going to do everything I can to make this a bipartisan issue,” Wyden said.
Wyden said every nominee that comes before the Finance Committee has to release his or her returns, and holding a presidential nominee to a lower standard than an assistant Cabinet secretary is “not right.”
Clinton has repeatedly hit Trump for his intransigence, and polls show most voters think he should release the records.
The 2012 GOP nominee, Mitt Romney, has stated that Trump’s refusal to disclose his tax returns should be “disqualifying” for the presidency.
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