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 SchumerPoll: Majority of voters say more police are needed amid rise in crime America's middle class is getting hooked on government cash — and Democrats aren't done yet The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate finalizes .2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill MORE (D-N.Y.) called Wednesday for more of President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - White House, Dems play blame game over evictions The Memo: Left pins hopes on Nina Turner in Ohio after recent defeats Biden administration to keep Trump-era rule of turning away migrants during pandemic 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 CardinSenate Democrats press administration on human rights abuses in Philippines Democrats pushing for changes to bipartisan infrastructure deal The Hill's Morning Report - 2024 GOPers goal: Tread carefully, don't upset Trump 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 CorkerCheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP How leaving Afghanistan cancels our post-9/11 use of force The unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her  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 WydenUp next in the culture wars: Adding women to the draft Democrats warn shrinking Biden's spending plan could backfire Democrats release data showing increase in 'mega-IRA' accounts 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.