Schumer calls for Trump Cabinet picks to turn over tax returns

Schumer calls for Trump Cabinet picks to turn over tax returns
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Incoming Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerCruz blocks amended resolution honoring Ginsburg over language about her dying wish Senate Democrats introduce legislation to probe politicization of pandemic response Schumer interrupted during live briefing by heckler: 'Stop lying to the people' MORE (D-N.Y.) called Wednesday for more of President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden on Trump's refusal to commit to peaceful transfer of power: 'What country are we in?' Romney: 'Unthinkable and unacceptable' to not commit to peaceful transition of power Two Louisville police officers shot amid Breonna Taylor grand jury protests MORE's Cabinet picks to turn over their tax returns.

Steven Mnuchin and Tom Price—Trump's picks to lead the Treasury and Health and Human Services departments, respectively—have already given their three most recent years of tax returns to the Senate Finance Committee. Schumer tweeted Wednesday that other Cabinet picks "must" follow suit.

 

One of Schumer's tweets singled out Rex Tillerson, Exxon Mobil's CEO and Trump's pick for secretary of State.

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Tillerson and Exxon Mobil have extensive business ties with other countries, including Russia. Those connections have inspired Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinCongress must finish work on popular conservation bill before time runs out PPP application window closes after coronavirus talks deadlock  Congress eyes tighter restrictions on next round of small business help MORE (D-Md.), the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to press Tillerson on releasing his returns. But the committee's chairman, Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerHas Congress captured Russia policy? Tennessee primary battle turns nasty for Republicans Cheney clashes with Trump MORE (R-Tenn.), has said that the panel traditionally does not ask for returns.

Democrats have stepped up pressure in recent weeks for Trump's other nominees to provide their tax returns to the Senate.

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During a press conference earlier this month, several Democratic senators argued that Senate rules should be changed to require Cabinet and other senior nominees to turn over three years of tax returns.

They argued that the returns should be scrutinized because many of Trump's Cabinet picks are wealthy and may have conflicts of interest. A CBS News estimate puts the combined wealth of seven of Trump's Cabinet picks at $11 billion.

Currently, only three Senate committees require nominees that they consider to submit their tax returns: the Finance, Budget and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs panels. 

During the campaign, Trump became the first major-party presidential nominee in decades to refuse to release his tax returns—a decision that drew criticism from Democrats as well as some Republicans. Trump said he would release his returns once the IRS finished auditing him, while the IRS said that audits don't bar people from releasing their own tax information.

Senate Finance Committee ranking member Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenDemocrats call for declassifying election threats after briefing by Trump officials Read Democrats' report countering Republicans' Biden investigation Top GOP senators say Hunter Biden's work 'cast a shadow' over Obama Ukraine policy MORE (D-Ore.) introduced legislation earlier this year that would require presidential nominees to make their tax returns public. Wyden intends to reintroduce the bill next year and have it apply to sitting presidents as well as nominees.