In rebuke to Trump, House passes bill requiring tax returns from presidential candidates – New York Daily News
In a rebuke of President Trump, the Democratic-led House passed a bill that would force future presidential candidates to release their tax returns.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump broke longstanding precedent for presidential candidates when he refused to release his tax returns, citing an ongoing audit. He became the first candidate in 40 years not to release his tax returns and — despite promising to release them when the audit concluded — has yet to share them with the public.
The House bill, called H.R.1, would require all presidential hopefuls to release a decade of their tax returns. It is a sweeping piece of legislation that includes more than 500 pages of provisions expanding voting rights, reforming spending in Congressional elections and overturning Citizens United, among a slew of Democratic priorities. It passed the House Friday morning on a 234-193 vote.
While the bill has near unanimous Democratic support, it’s unlikely to even get a vote in the Republican-controlled Senate. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) described the bill as a “power grab” and the White House has already threatened to veto the measure.
One of the the most groundbreaking provisions in H.R.1 would create a public system to fund congressional campaigns, a move Democrats say will reduce the impact wealthy donors have on elections. The measure would move billions of dollars into a fund that would match every dollar raised by small donors with $6 from the fund.
Other highlights of the bill include a campaign finance provision requiring so-called “dark money” groups to share the identity of their donors publicly, a call to make Election Day a national holiday and a constitutional amendment that would overturn Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court decision that opened the floodgates of massive corporate spending in elections.
Rep. Ayanna Pressley, the first black woman elected to Congress from Massachusetts, introduced a controversial amendment on Tuesday that would lower the voting age from 18 to 16.
“This new House Democrat majority’s top priority is apparently assigning themselves an unprecedented level of control over how they get elected to Washington, D.C., along with how, where and what American citizens are allowed to say about it,” McConnell said during a floor speech on Tuesday. “More than anything else, Washington Democrats want a tighter grip on political debate and the operation of elections, nationwide.”
Democrats acknowledge that H.R.1 has no chance of passing in the Senate, but expect it to energize the party and create a baseline for future bills.
Similar to broad, progressive proposals like The Green New Deal, H.R.1 is viewed primarily as an aspirational piece of legislation that Democrats will push to pass the next time they have control in both chambers.