Dems make another push for Trump's tax returns from House floor
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House Democrats on Tuesday furthered their push to force Republicans to take tough votes on President Trump, offering a resolution on the House floor to request Trump’s tax returns for the second time in a little over a week.

The resolution was blocked on a procedural vote of 227-186.

The resolution’s failure isn’t a surprise, but Democrats are committed to repeatedly forcing Republicans to go on the record about Trump.


House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told television news anchors last week that House Democrats are planning to push for a vote on Trump’s tax returns on a weekly basis.

Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) offered a resolution on Tuesday instructing the House to request 10 years of Trump’s tax returns so that they can be considered by the House Ways and Means Committee in a closed session.

Under a provision of the Internal Revenue Code, the chairs of the Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee and the Joint Committee on Taxation can request tax return information from the Treasury Department.

Eshoo tried to make the case for her resolution being “privileged,” meaning the House would have to act on it within two legislative days. But she was cut off by Rep. Steve WomackStephen (Steve) Allen WomackEx-CBO director calls for more than trillion in coronavirus stimulus spending Overnight Defense: Lawmakers tear into Pentagon over .8B for border wall | Dems offer bill to reverse Trump on wall funding | Senators urge UN to restore Iran sanctions Lawmakers trade insults over Trump budget cuts MORE (R-Ark.), who was presiding over the House. When Womack stopped Eshoo, other Democratic lawmakers booed. 

Womack ruled the resolution was not privileged, which Eshoo appealed. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) then introduced a motion to table the appeal, and it was easily approved by Republicans.


Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) voted present, and Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) voted with the Democrats. Both of them joined with a group of Democrats last week on a letter urging the tax returns to be requested.

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) voted with the Republicans. She later said that she had intended to vote with the Democrats and would release a statement to that effect Wednesday.

Last week, Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) offered a similar resolution on the House floor, and it met the same result. A Democratic amendment on requesting Trump’s tax returns also failed in the House Ways and Means Committee last month.

Trump’s tax returns isn’t the only topic that Democrats have forced votes on in recent weeks. The House Judiciary Committee last week rejected a Democratic resolution to request documents from Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsMcCabe, Rosenstein spar over Russia probe Rosenstein takes fire from Republicans in heated testimony Rosenstein defends Mueller appointment, role on surveillance warrants MORE about Trump’s potential conflicts of interest and ties to Russia.

On the Senate side, Democrats have also been pushing Congress to request Trump’s tax returns.

Sens. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenOvernight Health Care: Hydroxychloroquine ineffective in preventing COVID-19, study finds | WHO to resume hydroxychloroquine clinical research | WHO says no evidence coronavirus is mutating Bipartisan lawmakers press Trump administration to get COVID-19 aid to Medicaid providers USTR launches investigations into countries' digital taxes MORE (D-Ore.) and Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowSenate Democrats pump brakes on new stimulus checks Democrats warn of 'captured' GOP court ahead of November election Senate Democrat introduces bill to protect food supply MORE (D-Mich.) on Tuesday sent Finance Committee Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchBottom line Bottom line Bottom line MORE (R-Utah) a letter reiterating their call for Hatch to request Trump’s tax returns.

“With the impartiality of the Department of Justice in question, it is more important than ever that members of the Senate’s tax writing committee—through your authority—understand who and what ties the President has to foreign governments,” Wyden and Stabenow wrote.

Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee had made a similar request to Hatch last week, which he rejected.

Wyden and Stabenow said Tuesday that they felt a need to renew their request in the wake of Sessions acknowledging that he spoke twice with the Russian ambassador last year. They also argued that Hatch’s response to their first letter “mischaracterized” their initial request.

Hatch and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyHouse Republican offers bill to create 'return to work bonus' Expanding tax credit for businesses retaining workers gains bipartisan support Former Texas Rep. Sam Johnson dies at 89 MORE (R-Texas) have argued that requesting Trump’s tax returns would be an abuse of their authority and that Congress should focus instead on tax reform.

Trump is the first president in decades to not make his tax returns public. He has said he won’t release his returns while the IRS is auditing him. However, the IRS has said that nothing prevents taxpayers from releasing their own information.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday that it was his understanding that Trump is still under audit.