A House committee will hold a hearing Thursday about legislative proposals and a tax law regarding presidential tax returns.
The House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee hearing, which Democrats have anticipated for some time, was called to discuss part of the H.R. 1 ethics bill that would require presidents, vice presidents and major-party nominees for those positions to release 10 years of tax returns.
“The Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee is holding this important hearing so that Members and the public will learn about existing law, precedents and tradition, and legislative proposals to improve the integrity of our democracy,” subcommittee Chairman John Lewis said in a statement.
The hearing will certainly be in the spotlight as Democrats have been calling for President Donald Trump to release his tax returns for quite some time and made that one of their top oversight efforts. Some have even begun to express frustration with Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal for not having made the request yet.
“We’re on the edge of our seats here” for the hearing, said Tax March Executive Director Maura Quint, before adding that Tax March supports H.R. 1 and hopes the hearing will serve as a push for Neal to request President Trump’s tax returns.
Trump broke with tradition when he refused to do so, becoming the first president in four decades not to release his tax returns.
Democrats have been insistent on seeing his tax returns so as to see if he may have any conflicts of interest and how he personally benefited from the 2017 tax law he signed. Democratic lawmakers have been pushing for greater transparency and offering legislation to require presidential candidates to disclose their returns since the 2016 campaign.
The House is likely to advance the H.R. 1. bill this month, but it will almost certainly not pass the Republican-controlled Senate. Under H.R. 1, presidents, vice presidents and major-party nominees for those positions would have to disclose a decade’s worth of tax returns to the Federal Election Commission, which would then make them publicly available.