Newsday reports that a key New York state Senate committee advanced a bill to authorize the state Tax Department to release New York tax returns to a congressional committee upon request. New York Democrats introduced the bill with the end goal of bypassing the White House by releasing President Donald Trump’s state tax returns to Congress.
If the Democratic-led Senate approves the measure next week as planned, it will fall in the hands of the majority Democratic Assembly to follow suit. However, Speaker Carl Heastie claims that the bill isn’t currently on the chamber’s near-term schedule.
According to Democrats, the bill addresses oversight, accountability, and Trump’s unwillingness to release his tax returns publicly. Senator Brian Benjamin (D-Manhattan), chairman of the Senate Budget and Revenue Committee, commented on the move after the panel voted to send the bill to the full Senate.
“If the federal government isn’t prepared to deliver the transparency and accountability the American people deserve, New York will.”
Senator Brad Hoylman, the bill’s sponsor, claims that the bill wasn’t introduced solely for the partisan purpose of releasing Trump’s tax returns but to give any congressional oversight committee the power to obtain any New York tax returns. But he also noted that the United States House failed to receive their request for the president’s tax returns earlier this month.
“New York state does this all the time in terms of sharing tax returns, state returns, with other states, with the IRS, with other federal departments.”
"Legislators in 18 states have introduced bills requiring presidential candidates to release 5 years of tax returns in order to be listed on the general election ballot. The potential scenario is giving Trump allies pause." #Election2020 https://t.co/3wllYuPpvD
— Jon Cooper (@joncoopertweets) April 22, 2019
Republican Senator James Tedisco believes that move is “sad” and could even backfire and aid Trump in re-election.
“This is a sad attempt to delegitimize an election and a president,” Tedisco said. “What’s the next step? Because this isn’t going to end. After you get his taxes, are you going to want to get the number of suits and where he buys them and how much it costs?”
As The Inquisitr reported, former Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed a similar bill last year and called it a “transparent political stunt.” Even California Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, vetoed a similar bill in 2017, calling it a “slippery slope” that could push individual states to increase requirements for candidates in the future.
In a similar move, nearly 20 blue states have introduced legislation to require all presidential and vice presidential candidates to release their individual tax returns to be able to enter the running for a presidential or general election.