Tuesday’s vote by the House Ways and Means Committee to release six years’ worth of tax returns from former President Trump was a victory. The Supreme Court rejected Trump’s attempt to block Congress from accessing his tax returns in November. This ended years of legal wrangling. Although it is not known when the documents would be released, the panel stated that it would take a few more days to remove personal information such as Trump’s Social Security number and bank account numbers. The vote was based on party lines.
Republicans warned of severe consequences for the release.
Texas’s Rep. Kevin Brady, the leading Republican on the Ways and Means panel warned that “longstanding privacy protections for all taxpayers were compromised.” The Senate Finance Committee’s majority chairman and the House Ways and Means Committee’s majority chairman will be able to make public or target the tax returns of private citizens. This includes not only private citizens but also political enemies, labor leaders, and even Supreme Court justices.
He said, “No party should have that power in Congress.” That power should not be granted to individuals within Congress. It is the power to embarrass and harass Americans by disclosing their tax returns.
But Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-Mass.) Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-Mass.) defended the move and said that it was not about being punitive. It is not about being malicious.”
Just days after the House Jan 6 committee voted in favor of sending criminal referrals to Trump to the Department of Justice, the vote to release Trump’s tax returns came just days later.