Under a decision brought forth by Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-New Jersey), Donald Trump would be officially urged to present ten years of tax returns to Congress, following which the House Ways & Means Committee would carry a full review of the data contained in the tax returns in a closed conference, & vote on whether or not to make the information available to the rest of Congress.
“Let’s shine a bright light on the president’s conflicts together,” Pascrell said as his Democratic colleagues applauded. “We as a Congress and the broader American public can judge whether his decisions are being made for himself, his business interests, or for the greater good of the American people.”
To speed up the vote, Rep. Pascrell presented his decision as “privileged,” meaning Congress would be compelled to vote on it within 2 legislative days. Though, Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho0, who was managing over House chambers at the time, opposed the idea that Pascrell’s decision was privileged, & Republicans shot down Rep. Pascrell’s motion of Rep. Simpson’s judgment.
Pascrell’s resolution lost on a 229-185 vote, with 2 Republicans voting “present,” according to The Hill. It’s unclear as of this reporting if Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida), who earlier stated that Donald Trump should “absolutely” issue his tax returns, voted “nay” or “present” on Pascrell’s decision.
House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) explained that the committee shouldn’t ask to see Donald Trump’s tax returns, stating it would infringe on the president’s privacy.
“My belief is that if Congress begins to use its powers to rummage around in the tax returns of the President, what prevents Congress from doing the same to average Americans?” Brady said.