Democrats, Republicans clash over release of Trumps tax returns | newkerala.com #98991

Erika Holt
February 10, 2019

At the same time 3rd District Rep. Adrian Smith, a member of the powerful tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, says he would have preferred the president "voluntarily release them to avoid our current situation".

Rep. Steven M. Palazzo, R-Miss., a conference committee member, said he expects a deal will be reached "before the end of the weekend" and that aid for disaster victims would be included.

Democrats hope that the hearing will help build their case for why the American people need to see Trump's tax returns.

Neal, who said he wants to remove emotion from the tax-return fight, has turned the issue over to oversight subcommittee Chairman John Lewis of Georgia.

Four Trump administration sources have told Politico that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin could block the tax returns' release on the grounds that Democrats would be unable to prevent someone from leaking them, which would be a felony.

At the beginning of the shutdown, Trump asked for $5.7 billion for the border wall. He said Neal is consulting with lawyers for the House "to determine the appropriate legal steps to go forward with this unprecedented request".

Some committee Democrats said a request could be two to three months away.

"I don't see any wiggle room for the Treasury secretary to refuse the request", said George Yin, a professor at the University of Virginia School of Law and former chief of staff for the Joint Committee on Taxation, adding it would be "unprecedented" for the secretary to refuse. It ended January 25 when Trump said he would agree to fund the government for three weeks to give congressional appropriators time to work out a solution. It could take years to resolve, possibly stretching beyond the 2020 presidential election.

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Mr Trump will also address foreign policy, including support to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro from power. Some Democratic women will be wearing white, the color favored by early 20th-century suffragettes.

"But I'm concerned that the IRS may not have the ability to accurately and fairly carry this out, free from political pressure", Democratic Representative Suzan DelBene said. "Such an abuse of power would open a Pandora's box". The negotiations aren't likely to veer very far from that figure, aides involved in the talks said, and newly empowered House Democrats were looking to restrict use of the money.

"We will not surrender our constitutional responsibility of oversight", House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday.

"I certainly hear that they are working on something and both sides are moving along", Trump said. A defiant Pelosi declared on Wednesday that House Democrats would not be cowed by President Donald Trump's "all-out threat" during his State of the Union address to drop their investigations of his administration, as fellow Democrats pushed ahead with a bevy of sensitive inquiries. Underscoring the clout he's lost during a battle that's dominated the opening weeks of divided government, the amount seems sure to fall much closer to $1.6 billion, a figure that was in a bipartisan Senate bill previous year, they said.

Brady-who is the ranking member of the committee itself-and Kelly accused Democrats of hunting Trump's tax returns as an attempt to play "partisan "gotcha" politics in the letter".

Democrats have proposed requiring presidential and vice presidential candidates to release 10 years of tax returns as part of ethics legislation.

Thursday's hearing is created to build a case for Neal's authority to request Trump's returns, said Andy Grewal, a tax law professor at the University of Iowa. Lawmakers face a February 15 deadline when large portions of the government will shutdown unless Congress and Trump act first.

Trump has rejected a decades-old tradition that presidents and White House hopefuls would make their tax returns public. Graham, who is close to Trump, said that to make up the difference, "there are other ways to do it, and I expect the president to go it alone in some fashion". As always, though, the question is where the President stands on all of this, what kind of deal he'd be willing to accept, and whether or not he'd end up going back on his word if it turns out that the base, especially people like Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, and the Fox News Channel crowd, accuses him of caving to the Democrats.

Schiff's Intelligence Committee is also planning a deep-dive into Trump's financial and business ties to Russian Federation, suggesting that they could involve money laundering.

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