Bill allowing Congress to obtain Trump's New York tax returns heads to governor's desk

Bill allowing Congress to obtain Trump's New York tax returns heads to governor's desk
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The New York state legislature has advanced legislation that would allow Congress to obtain President TrumpDonald John TrumpChasten Buttigieg: 'I've been dealing with the likes of Rush Limbaugh my entire life' Lawmakers paint different pictures of Trump's 'opportunity zone' program We must not turn our heads from the effects of traumatic brain injuries MORE’s state tax returns, sending the measure to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) desk.

The state assembly on Wednesday passed the bill, as well as an amendment that narrows the scope of whose state tax returns could be requested by Congress. The state senate, which passed the bill earlier this month, also approved the amendment on Wednesday.

State lawmakers supporting the bill say that Cuomo is expected to sign it. A spokesman for the governor told The Wall Street Journal that Cuomo would review the legislation before determining whether to sign it.

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The legislation, as amended, would authorize the New York commissioner of taxation and finance to provide to the chairmen of Congress’s tax committees the state tax returns of public officials, including the president, vice president, top executive branch officials, members of New York’s congressional delegation and state and local officials.

The congressional committees’ requests have to specify that the tax returns they are requesting are related to a “legitimate task” of Congress, and they have to also have requested related federal tax returns from the Treasury Department.

The original version of the bill would have allowed the chairmen of Congress’s tax committees to request any New Yorker’s state tax returns, and the amendment limits whose returns could be sought.

The action on the bill comes amid a fight over Democrats’ demands for Trump’s federal tax returns.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealWyden, Mnuchin clash over Trump tax returns, Hunter Biden probe Overnight Health Care: House panel advances legislation on surprise medical bills | Planned Parenthood, ACLU sue over Trump abortion coverage rule | CDC identifies 13th US patient with coronavirus White House warns of raising health costs in debate over surprise medical bills MORE (D-Mass.) last month requested six years of Trump’s tax returns from the IRS under a provision in the federal tax code, and then later issued subpoenas for those documents, but Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinBloomberg proposes financial transaction tax GOP senators offering bill to cement business provision in Trump tax law On The Money: Deficit spikes 25 percent through January | Mnuchin declines to say why Trump pulled Treasury nominee who oversaw Roger Stone case | Lawmakers trade insults over Trump budget cuts MORE rejected those efforts. Neal and Mnuchin both expect the issue to end up in court.

Supporters of the New York bill see it as a way that Congress could learn about some of Trump’s tax information.

“New York has a unique role to help head off the constitutional crisis brewing between Congress and the White House over refusal to comply with the request for Donald Trump’s tax returns,” state Sen. Brad Hoylman (D), an author of the bill, said in a statement. “With today’s vote in support of the TRUST Act, the State Legislature will allow the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance to cooperate with Congressional tax committees requesting the state returns of public officials, including the president.”

Neal, however, would not necessarily take advantage of the New York measure. He has said that he wants copies of Trump’s federal returns because the Ways and Means Committee is considering legislative proposals about how the IRS enforces tax laws against a president.

--This report was updated at 2:20 p.m.