Udall Joins Senators In Authoring Bill To Require Trump And Future Presidential Nominees To Release Tax Returns

by Carol Clark / Jan 09, 2017 / comments

Udall Joins Senators In Authoring Bill To Require Trump And Future Presidential Nominees To Release Tax Returns

Submitted by Carol A. Clark 

WASHINGTON, D.C. ― U.S. Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) announced that he has co-sponsored a bill authored by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) that will require President-elect Trump to release his recent tax returns in order to provide the public with more transparency on matters related to the President-elect's actions, values and foreign business dealings.

"President-elect Trump has defied decades of bipartisan tradition in refusing to release his tax returns. New Mexicans and folks throughout the nation have serious and legitimate questions — about his possible conflicts of interest from business dealings here at home and with foreign governments, his history of questionable uses of his charitable foundation, and any tax loopholes he may be exploiting -- that he can answer by releasing his tax returns," Udall said. "The American people deserve transparency from their next president about his financial dealings and the potential conflicts of interest he might carry into the Oval Office. And our bill would put this unwritten rule into law and require President-elect Trump, and every presidential nominee going forward, to fully level with the American people."

For nearly 40 years, every presidential candidate from the major political parties has voluntarily released his or her tax returns during the campaign, but it has not been legally mandated. The Presidential Tax Transparency Act will require all sitting presidents to release their most recent three years of tax returns to the Office of Government Ethics (OGE).

It will also require the presidential nominees of the major political parties to release their most recent three years of tax returns to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) within 15 days of becoming the nominee at the party convention. The bill also grants the Treasury Secretary the ability to provide the tax returns directly to the OGE or FEC for public release should a sitting president or future candidates refuse to release their returns on their own.

The additional original cosponsors of the Presidential Tax Transparency Act are Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

A one-page summary of the legislative proposal can be found here. The bill text can be found here.