Progressive groups urge New York assembly to pass bill concerning Trump's state tax returns

Progressive groups urge New York assembly to pass bill concerning Trump's state tax returns
© The White House

A coalition of progressive groups is urging the New York State Assembly to pass legislation that would allow congressional committees to request President TrumpDonald John TrumpA better VA, with mental health services, is essential for America's veterans Pelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote Trump arrives in Japan to kick off 4-day state visit MORE's state tax returns, one week after the state Senate approved the bill.

"This bill is a critical piece of legislation that would not only allow Congress to investigate President Trump and his various financial entanglements, but would also allow the American people to hold him accountable for his deeply troubling conflicts of interests," the groups wrote in a letter Thursday to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D).

Groups that signed the letter include Stand Up America, Americans for Tax Fairness and Public Citizen.

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Under the legislation, known as the TRUST Act, the chairmen of Congress's tax committees would be able to request anyone's state tax returns from the New York commissioner of taxation and finance, so long as the request has a legitimate legislative purpose and the Congress is requesting related federal tax returns from the Treasury Department.

Supporters of the bill see it as a way for Congress to be able to examine some of Trump's tax information while the administration rejects demands from House Democrats for the president's federal returns. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealRepublicans attempt to amend retirement savings bill to include anti-BDS language House votes to boost retirement savings Steyer plans impeachment push targeting Democrats over recess MORE (D-Mass.) last week issued subpoenas for six years of Trump's personal and business tax returns, and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinThe Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Artist designs stamp to put Harriet Tubman's face over Jackson's on bills On The Money: Senate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump | Trump to offer B aid package for farmers | House votes to boost retirement savings | Study says new tariffs to double costs for consumers MORE on Wednesday signaled that the administration is not doing to comply.

"While the House Ways and Means Committee attempts to force Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and the Internal Revenue Service to comply with their request for President Trump’s tax returns, we believe it is imperative that you pursue every available avenue for obtaining and publicly disclosing President Trump’s state tax returns," the groups wrote.

Republicans in the state legislature, who are in the minority in both chambers, have criticized the bill, arguing that it would lead to an invasion of taxpayers' privacy.

The New York state Senate passed the TRUST Act last week, and Democrats in the assembly discussed the bill in private earlier this week. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said he supports the bill.

"Your support for the New York State TRUST Act and your commitment to pushing it through the Assembly would ensure that President Trump cannot continue obscuring the truth from lawmakers or the public," the groups wrote to the New York assembly speaker.

Bloomberg reported earlier this week that it's unclear if Neal will take advantage of the bill.

“Our request is in furtherance of the committee’s investigation into the mandatory presidential audit program and to decide whether that program needs to be codified into federal law,” Ways and Means spokesman Dan Rubin told The Hill. “This is part of our oversight over the IRS. State returns from NY would not help that investigation.”