House GOP rebuffs bill to release Trump tax returns and visitor logs
© Greg Nash

House Republicans rebuffed an effort by Democrats on Thursday to force a vote on legislation that would require President Trump to release his tax returns and official visitor logs.

Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) offered a resolution through a procedural motion that was defeated along party lines, 230-193. Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), who has called on Trump to release his tax returns, was the sole Republican to vote with Democrats. 

Clark’s measure would have ordered Trump to provide the House with his tax returns and visitor logs for both the White House and Mar-a-Lago, the Florida resort where Trump has spent weekends as president. 

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It also would direct the General Services Administration to provide the House Oversight Committee with documents supporting its conclusion last month that Trump’s Washington hotel can keep its lease with the federal government, despite its prohibition on elected officials sharing in the agreement.

“This resolution will ensure that the House meets its constitutional responsibility to conduct oversight of the executive branch by investigating potential conflicts of interest of President Donald J. Trump,” Clark said while offering her resolution.

Republicans have consistently defeated Democratic efforts to force Trump to make his tax returns public. 

Trump broke with four decades of precedent by declining to release his tax returns. He initially cited an ongoing Internal Revenue Service audit as the reason he couldn't release them, but the agency has said that an audit doesn't prohibit individuals from putting out their returns.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday that Trump has “no intention” of releasing the documents.

Democrats forced seven votes in as many weeks on the House floor on resolutions calling for Trump’s tax returns, all of which were similarly defeated along party lines.

The congressional panels with oversight of the tax code, the House Ways and Means Committee, Senate Finance Committee and Joint Committee on Taxation, all have the power to request individual tax returns from the Internal Revenue Service. But the Republican chairmen have rejected calls to use that authority to demand Trump’s tax returns.

The White House announced earlier this month that it would not make its visitor logs public, breaking with a policy set by the Obama administration.