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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 SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerMcConnell says deficits 'not a Republican problem' Medicare for All is disastrous for American seniors and taxpayers Senate Dems race to save Menendez in deep-blue New Jersey MORE (D-N.Y.) called Wednesday for more of President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump renews attacks against Tester over VA nominee on eve of Montana rally Trump submits 2017 federal income tax returns Corker: Trump administration 'clamped down' on Saudi intel, canceled briefing 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.

Tillerson and Exxon Mobil have extensive business ties with other countries, including Russia. Those connections have inspired Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinGOP leaders hesitant to challenge Trump on Saudi Arabia Dem senator: Trump accepts Saudi denials because he is 'enamored' with dictators Saudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP 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 CorkerCorker: Trump administration 'clamped down' on Saudi intel, canceled briefing GOP leaders hesitant to challenge Trump on Saudi Arabia Poll: GOP's Blackburn holds slim lead in Tennessee Senate race 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.

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 WydenRepublicans should prepare for Nancy Pelosi to wield the gavel US to open trade talks with Japan, EU, UK Poll: Dem incumbent holds 5-point lead in Oregon governor's race 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.