Pelosi Introduces Bill to Force Presidents—But Not Members of Congress—to Release Their Tax Returns

By CNSNews.com Staff | January 6, 2019 | 9:49am EST
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the Oval Office with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. (Getty Images/Mark Wilson)

(CNSNews.com) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced legislation on Friday that would require the president and vice president and candidates for the presidency and vice presidency to release their tax returns.

The bill, however, would not require members of Congress or candidates for Congress to release their tax returns.

The provision is part of H.R. 1—the “For the People Act”—which Pelosi introduced Friday.

A summary of the bill says that it includes a section titled “Presidential Tax Transparency.” This section, says the summary: “Requires sitting presidents and vice presidents, as well as candidates for the presidency and vice presidency, to release their tax returns.”

In 2017, when members of Congress were calling on President Donald Trump to release his tax returns, Roll Call asked all 535 members of the House and Senate to release theirs. As Roll Call reported at the time, 6 members did release their tax returns as requested by the publication. Another 6 had already released theirs elsewhere. Another 45 members, Roll Call reported, had previously and partially released their tax returns. But 473 members had not released their tax returns and did not respond to Roll Call’s request that they do so.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi was one of the members, Roll Call reported, who had not released her tax returns.

At an April 2017 press briefing promoting similar legislation that would have required the president—but not members of Congress—to release their tax returns, Pelosi said that president’s do not have a “right to privacy” when it comes to their tax returns.

““It's not a right to privacy that the President has,” Pelosi said. “He's the president of the United States. There is a question about a Russian connection, politically, personally, financially, to the president; there's concerns about recent actions by the Chinese government in relation to the Trump Organization."

“There’s plenty reasons why we need this key to open the door to the information we need to connect the dots,” Pelosi said. “And if they have nothing to fear, then what are they afraid of.”

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