Schumer: Tax reform gets harder if Trump doesn't release his returns
© Greg Nash

Sen. Charles SchumerCharles SchumerFCC advances proposal to unmask blocked caller ID in threat cases Trump: Pelosi's leadership good for the GOP Live coverage: Senate GOP unveils its ObamaCare repeal bill MORE (D-N.Y.) is warning that it will be difficult to pass tax reform until President Trump releases his tax returns.

"Until President Trump releases his full tax returns, a cloud of suspicion will remain and make it much more difficult to get tax reform legislation through the Congress," Schumer, the Senate's top Democrat, said in a statement Friday. 

Tens of thousands of people are expected to attend rallies over the weekend, ahead of the April 18 tax-filing deadline, to demand that the president release his returns. 

Schumer added on Friday that if Trump "is serious about passing real tax reform to help the middle class, he should start by releasing his own full tax returns to erase any doubt of where his priorities lie."

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During the campaign, Trump refused to make his tax information public, breaking with decades of tradition. He said it was due to an audit, but the IRS said that did not legally prevent him from releasing the documents. Once he took office, the White House said he had no plans to release them.

Democrats have offered legislation that would require Trump, future presidents and major party nominees to publicly display their tax returns, but that legislation has failed to gain traction in a GOP-controlled Congress. 

Schumer issued a similar warning to Trump during a conference call with reporters Tuesday, arguing Americans will be suspicious of his tax proposals until he releases the returns.

"Anytime the president proposes something on tax reform, “the average American is going to say, ‘Oh, he’s not doing that because it’s good for me, he’s doing it because it’s good for him,' " Schumer told reporters.

Republicans have signaled they will use a special legislative procedure to pass tax reform, allowing the legislation to clear Congress with a simple majority and avoid a Democratic filibuster in the Senate.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) tried to force a vote on his resolution directing the House to delay its consideration of tax reform legislation until lawmakers review Trump's tax returns, but his move was blocked by Republicans. 

House Republicans and the Trump administration have said they want to pass tax reform by their August recess, but Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellOpioid crisis threatens GOP ObamaCare repeal Trump making calls to senators on healthcare bill Trump called Cruz to press him on ObamaCare repeal bill: report MORE (R-Ky.) has cast doubt on that timeline.