Two Republican representatives have broken party lines to sign on to a letter demanding access to President Donald Trump’s tax returns. Mark Sanford (R-SC) and Walter Jones (R-NC) joined 161 Democrats calling on the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee to request access to Trump’s returns.
The letter, spearheaded by Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), follows Pascrell’s attempt to hold a House vote forcing Trump to release his tax returns. The measure was voted down by House Republicans, but the other way Congress can get ahold of an unwilling president’s taxes is through the Ways and Means Committee or the Senate Finance Committee.
Trump has become the first president since the 1970s to run without releasing his tax returns, despite repeatedly promising that he would. Without this information, voters went to the polls in the dark about Trump’s potential conflicts of interest and tax avoidance tactics.
The letter reads,
“Disclosure would serve the public interest of clarifying President Trump’s conflicts of interest in office, the potential for him to personally benefit from tax reform, and ensure that he is not receiving any preferential treatment from the IRS.
“We believe the powerful and respected Committees on Finance and Ways and Means have the responsibility to ensure oversight of the executive branch by requesting a review of President Trump’s tax returns and moving toward a formal release of these documents to the public.”
It is heartening to see a couple Republicans begin to break down party walls in the name of decency and the interest of the American people. However, two is not enough in a Republican controlled Congress. Until the majority of representatives are prepared to act on behalf of the people and not just to defend their party’s disaster of a president.
Marisa completed her undergraduate degree in 2013 at the University of Wisconsin with a double major in creative writing and media studies. She is an advocate of progressive policies and focuses her interests on gender equality and preventing sexual and domestic violence.