WASHINGTON – House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-Massachusetts) is not backing down on his request for six years of the President Donald Trump’s personal and business tax returns.
In a letter sent to the Internal Revenue Service commissioner this past weekend, Neal wrote that he believes his committee is well within its rights to see the President’s tax returns and that he expects a decision from the IRS within the next 10 days.
The letter leans heavily into the committee’s legal rational for the returns.
“I am aware that concerns have been raised regarding my request, and the authority of the committee. Those concerns lack merit. Moreover, judicial precedent commands that none of the concerns raised can legitimately be used to deny the committee’s request,” Neal wrote.
The letter comes just days after the Treasury Department told Neal that it would not meet a one-week deadline to turn over the President’s tax information and that it would instead consult with the Justice Department before responding further.
Meanwhile Chautauqua County’s representative in Congress ramped up his criticism of his Democratic colleagues on the House Ways and Means Committee.
Rep. Tom Reed (R-Corning, NY 23) – who serves on the committee – said on Wednesday that House Democrats were weaponizing the tax code and weakening privacy rights as they try to subpoena Trump’s tax returns.
“Many Democrats began thinking of impeachment the day after Donald Trump won the 2016 election, and this is just the next step in process,” Reed said. “If the Democrats on the Ways and Means Committee are successful, this will set a dangerous precedent. What will stop future Members of Congress from targeting future political foes, or even their neighbor down the street, and requesting their tax returns?”
Reed highlighted that if Democrats are serious about increasing transparency surrounding the financial interests of people running for office, Republicans and Democrats should work together to increase the transparency of financial disclosure forms candidates for office file.
“Transparency in our government is enormously important. So is privacy and freedom from the fear any American can be targeted by any political party for purely partisan reasons,” Reed concluded.