Senate Democrats' request on Trump's tax returns rejected

Indo Asian News Service

Washington, March 2 (IANS) Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee urged the panel's Republican chairman to request President Donald Trump's tax returns from the Treasury Department, but he rejected the request, the media reported.

The Democratic senators in a letter asked Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch on Wednesday to seek the returns "given the critical issues raised by the President's business entanglements", The Hill magazine reported

But Hatch along with House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady responded in their own letter, saying "we strongly consider the approach you suggest to be an abuse of the tax-writing committees statutory authority".

"The American people have made it clear that they want Washington to fix our broken tax code - not to target the tax returns of individual citizens," Hatch and Brady wrote.

The Senate Democrats' request came after the House on Monday rejected an attempt from Democratic Representative Bill Pascrell to force a floor vote on a resolution to request Trump's tax returns.

The House Ways and Means Committee had previously voted against an amendment for the panel's chairman to make such a request.

Under federal law, the chairmen of the House Ways and Means Committee, Senate Finance Committee and Joint Committee on Taxation can request tax returns from Treasury that can then be reviewed in a closed meeting, the magazine said.

The senators urged Hatch to request the returns of both Trump and his businesses.

Hatch and Brady said that the Democrats' request was not in line with the legislative intent of the tax-code section that allows chairmen to request the returns.

They also said there has not been "specific allegations of tax-related misconduct by federal officials or abuse of taxpayer rights" that would lead them to request the returns.

The Republican chairmen added the request for Trump's tax returns is "a distraction from more pressing needs".

--IANS

ksk