House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady slammed Democrats’ calls for him to request President Donald Trump’s tax returns from the Department of the Treasury Monday.
New Jersey Democrat Rep. Bill Pascrell is leading the effort to push Brady to invoke a rarely used provision of a law allowing the chairman to request and examine anyone’s tax return.
The Texas Republican dismissed the proposal, arguing it would be a misuse of what the law was intended to do.
“So, I’ve read his letter and I disagree with all of it,” he told reporters Monday. “In fact, that letter misrepresents the legislative intent of that provision which in fact, creates confidentiality and privacy for Americans in their tax returns.”
According to Brady, if he requested Trump’s return it could lead to the government infringing on the privacy of everyday Americans.
“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 for average Americans,” he continued. “Privacy and civil liberties are still important rights in this country and ways and means committee is not going to start to weaken them.”
Democrats have argued they need to see the documents to ensure there are no conflicts of interest between the president’s businesses and the White House.
In a letter written to Brady earlier this month, Pascrell alleged by owning businesses and governing simultaneously, the “Constitution faces unprecedented threats due to this arrangement.
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