GOP rejects Dem effort to demand Trump’s tax returns ahead of Senate vote
© Greg Nash

House Republicans on Wednesday rebuffed a Democratic attempt to demand President Trump release his tax returns to show how he would be affected by the GOP’s tax overhaul.

The latest effort from Democrats as part of a procedural vote failed along party lines ahead of an expected vote in the Senate this week to pass the Republican tax-reform plan.

Rep. Anna EshooAnna Georges EshooThis week: Rosenstein set to meet with House GOP Timeline: Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court Graham: ‘Ford has a problem and destroying Judge Kavanaugh’s life won’t fix her problem’ MORE (D-Calif.), the author of legislation to require presidents and major-party presidential candidates to disclose their three previous years of returns, said the public should know how and if Trump would benefit from the overhaul.

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Eshoo cited provisions of the GOP’s proposal that could benefit Trump, such as eliminating the alternative minimum tax, which was designed to prevent wealthy Americans from avoiding taxes, and the estate tax, which applies to estates of $5.5 million or more.

“While it’s very clear that the Republican tax bill will harm the middle class, it’s less clear how the bill will benefit one taxpayer in particular, if he pays any taxes: the president of the United States of America,” Eshoo said during House floor debate.

Trump broke with four decades of precedent by refusing to release his tax returns during his 2016 campaign for the White House. He cited an ongoing IRS audit, although the agency has said that individuals under audit can still make their tax returns public.

Trump reportedly claimed to Senate Democrats earlier this month that his accountant told him that he would personally “get killed” financially by the GOP tax proposal.

Yet the public is not able to assess how the GOP’s proposal to overhaul the tax code would affect Trump and his family without seeing his tax returns.

Democrats repeatedly forced weekly votes earlier this year to call on Trump to release his tax returns. But those efforts, also in the form of procedural votes, were all defeated along party lines.

Two Republicans, Reps. Walter JonesWalter Beaman JonesThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — Kavanaugh accuser Ford offers gripping testimony | Sights and sounds from Capitol | Hearing grips Washington Overnight Defense — Presented by Raytheon — Trump caps UN visit with wild presser | Accuses China of election meddling | Pentagon spending bill clears House | Hawks cheer bill | Lawmakers introduce resolution to force Yemen vote First Republican calls for FBI to investigate Kavanaugh MORE (N.C.) and Mark SanfordMarshall (Mark) Clement SanfordOvernight Defense — Presented by The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates — Haley shocks Washington with resignation | Turkish officials reportedly conclude Saudis killed journalist | Trump eyes second Kim summit after midterms GOP on timing of Haley’s announcement: 'Unusual' and 'odd' On The Money: House passes 4B spending bill to avert shutdown | Trump 'not happy' after Fed's latest rate hike | Trump says he refused meeting with Trudeau MORE (S.C.), defected from their party on those efforts. Jones voted with the Democrats in support of the resolutions, while Sanford voted “present.”

Jones voted with Democrats on Wednesday's procedural vote. 

The Wednesday vote also came ahead of Trump’s visit to St. Charles, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis, to sell the GOP tax-reform proposal.

Rep. Lacy ClayWilliam (Lacy) Lacy ClayElection Countdown: Takeaways from too-close-to-call Ohio special election | Trump endorsements cement power but come with risks | GOP leader's race now rated as 'toss-up' | Record numbers of women nominated | Latino candidates get prominent role in 2020 Five takeaways from Ohio's too-close-to-call special election Trump, 'blue wave' tested in Ohio: live results MORE (D-Mo.) cited comments from the Republican chairman of the Missouri House Budget Committee this month expressing concern about the GOP tax bill resulting in less revenue for the state.

“The majority likes to talk about family values. And there’s no doubt that extremely wealthy families like President Trump’s will reap millions from the GOP tax scam,” Clay said.

The House bill, which passed earlier this month, would eliminate the state and local tax deduction. But it would preserve a property tax deduction of up to $10,000.

The Senate version, meanwhile, gets rid of the state and local tax deduction entirely, though Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsGraham: I hope Dems 'get their ass kicked' for conduct around Kavanaugh St. Lawrence alumni, faculty want honorary degree for Collins revoked 'Suspicious letter' mailed to Maine home of Susan Collins MORE (R-Maine) is pushing to include the property tax deduction compromise as outlined in the House bill.

Both measures would nearly double the standard deduction, which taxpayers can use instead of itemizing their deductions.

The Senate is expected to vote to pass its tax legislation as soon as Thursday, following the House vote on its version before the Thanksgiving break.