Liberal groups want Mnuchin off GOP tax group following airplane controversies

Liberal groups want Mnuchin off GOP tax group following airplane controversies
© Keren Carrion

Liberal groups are calling for Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinDem lawmaker calls for cryptocurrency probe after Mueller indictments Meet the woman who is Trump's new emissary to Capitol Hill On The Money: Fed chief lays out risks of trade war | Senate floats new Russia sanctions amid Trump backlash | House passes bill to boost business investment MORE to be removed from the "Big Six" group of GOP negotiators of tax reform.

The request follows a report that the former Goldman Sachs executive requested use of a government plane for his honeymoon.

Two groups, Not One Penny and Stand Up America, on Friday announced a campaign called "Dump Mnuchin" in an effort to get the Treasury secretary to play a less active role on the tax-reform issue.

The campaign will involve mobilizing grassroots organizers.

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"The American people deserve a tax code that isn't written by someone who repeatedly abused taxpayers — from profiting off foreclosures in the private sector to trying to privately benefit from his new role in the public sector," said Nicole Gill, executive director of Tax March, which is a sponsor of Not One Penny. "It’s time that the tax writing effort take a vacation from Secretary Mnuchin.”

Mnuchin has come under fire following an ABC News report this week that he had requested a government jet for his European honeymoon. Additionally, the Treasury Department Inspector General is investigating Mnuchin's use of a government plane to travel to Fort Knox in Kentucky ahead of August's solar eclipse.

Mnuchin's wife, Louise Linton, also participated in the Kentucky trip and faced backlash when she touted the designer clothing she was wearing during the visit on Instagram and then fired back at a user who left a critical comment on the social networking site.

Sean Eldridge, founder and president of Stand Up America, said that "after this latest attempt to misuse taxpayer dollars, Mnuchin is the last person who should be crafting tax policy for American families."

Mnuchin defended himself on Thursday from the reports, saying at a Politico event that the request for the plane for his honeymoon had to do with national security and that it was withdrawn after his staff found other ways to ensure he could communicate in a secure manner. He also said that he didn't have much interest in seeing the eclipse, "being a New Yorker."

Linton has apologized for her Instagram comments.

The campaign's launch comes days after it was announced that the Big Six will release a tax reform framework during the week of September 25.

Besides Mnuchin, members of the Big Six include Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanDems unveil slate of measures to ratchet up pressure on Russia National Dems make play in Ohio special election Trump vows to hold second meeting with Putin MORE (R-Wis.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell spokesman on Putin visit: 'There is no invitation from Congress' Overnight Defense: Trump inviting Putin to DC | Senate to vote Monday on VA pick | Graham open to US-Russia military coordination in Syria Senate to vote Monday on Trump's VA nominee MORE (R-Ky.), House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradySenate panel advances Trump IRS nominee GOP looks to blunt Dems’ attacks on rising premiums Meet the woman who is Trump's new emissary to Capitol Hill MORE (R-Texas), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchSenators introduce bipartisan bill to improve IRS Senate panel advances Trump IRS nominee Don't place all your hopes — or fears — on a new Supreme Court justice MORE (R-Utah) and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn.

Not One Penny and Stand Up America have also criticized Republicans' tax efforts as appearing likely to include tax cuts for the rich, though Mnuchin said Thursday that his intention is not for wealthy Americans to receive tax cuts.