Liberal groups want Mnuchin off GOP tax group following airplane controversies

Liberal groups want Mnuchin off GOP tax group following airplane controversies
© Keren Carrion

Liberal groups are calling for Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinTrump to attend World Economic Forum in Davos for second straight year Trump names Mulvaney acting chief of staff On The Money: House GOP struggles to get votes for B in wall funds | Fallout from Oval Office clash | Dems say shutdown would affect 800K workers | House passes 7 billion farm bill MORE to be removed from the "Big Six" group of GOP negotiators of tax reform.

The request follows a report that the former Goldman Sachs executive requested use of a government plane for his honeymoon.

Two groups, Not One Penny and Stand Up America, on Friday announced a campaign called "Dump Mnuchin" in an effort to get the Treasury secretary to play a less active role on the tax-reform issue.

The campaign will involve mobilizing grassroots organizers.

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"The American people deserve a tax code that isn't written by someone who repeatedly abused taxpayers — from profiting off foreclosures in the private sector to trying to privately benefit from his new role in the public sector," said Nicole Gill, executive director of Tax March, which is a sponsor of Not One Penny. "It’s time that the tax writing effort take a vacation from Secretary Mnuchin.”

Mnuchin has come under fire following an ABC News report this week that he had requested a government jet for his European honeymoon. Additionally, the Treasury Department Inspector General is investigating Mnuchin's use of a government plane to travel to Fort Knox in Kentucky ahead of August's solar eclipse.

Mnuchin's wife, Louise Linton, also participated in the Kentucky trip and faced backlash when she touted the designer clothing she was wearing during the visit on Instagram and then fired back at a user who left a critical comment on the social networking site.

Sean Eldridge, founder and president of Stand Up America, said that "after this latest attempt to misuse taxpayer dollars, Mnuchin is the last person who should be crafting tax policy for American families."

Mnuchin defended himself on Thursday from the reports, saying at a Politico event that the request for the plane for his honeymoon had to do with national security and that it was withdrawn after his staff found other ways to ensure he could communicate in a secure manner. He also said that he didn't have much interest in seeing the eclipse, "being a New Yorker."

Linton has apologized for her Instagram comments.

The campaign's launch comes days after it was announced that the Big Six will release a tax reform framework during the week of September 25.

Besides Mnuchin, members of the Big Six include Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Flynn awaits sentencing | White House signals it wants to avoid shutdown Missing: Fiscal sanity in Washington On The Money: Latest on border wall fight | Dems prep for long shutdown | Trump finds himself isolated | Stocks sink ahead of Fed meeting, funding deadline | Trump offers new round of farm aid MORE (R-Wis.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellIsrael boycott fight roils Democrats in year-end spending debate Schumer blasts GOP request for immigration 'slush fund' Trump: 'Too early to say' if shutdown will be averted MORE (R-Ky.), House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyPaul Ryan releases ‘teaser trailer’ about series on push for tax reform Dems aim to punt vote on ObamaCare taxes House Democrats poised to set a dangerous precedent with president’s tax returns MORE (R-Texas), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchThe Hill's Morning Report — What a shutdown would mean for the government GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander won't seek reelection Hatch walks back remarks that he didn't 'care' if Trump broke the law MORE (R-Utah) and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn.

Not One Penny and Stand Up America have also criticized Republicans' tax efforts as appearing likely to include tax cuts for the rich, though Mnuchin said Thursday that his intention is not for wealthy Americans to receive tax cuts.