Capitol Hill Buzz: Democrats aim at Trump's tax returns

AP News
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Posted: May 25, 2016 11:16 AM
Capitol Hill Buzz: Democrats aim at Trump's tax returns

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hmmm, wonder who he has in mind?

A leading Senate Democrat is introducing legislation that would require presidential candidates to release their tax returns.

Its chances of becoming law are nil. The Republican-controlled Congress has little incentive to embarrass Donald Trump, their presumptive presidential candidate. Trump has said he won't unveil his returns until the IRS finishes auditing them.

But with Democrats looking for every opportunity to focus negative attention on the billionaire candidate, Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden introduced the measure Wednesday.

The bill would require the major parties' presidential nominees to release their tax returns for the past three years. If they don't, the Treasury Department — which oversees the IRS — would give the returns to the Federal Election Commission, which would release them publicly.

Since the 1970s, presidential candidates have typically released their returns. Trump has been criticized by both parties for not unveiling his.

GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, a vocal Trump foe, has said his failure to release his is "disqualifying." Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Trump would have to make up his own mind.

The Federal Election Commission released personal financial disclosure documents last week that Trump had filed. They showed that the businessman reported $557 million in earned income over the past 17 months.

Those documents provide far less detail than is required for tax returns — information that Trump's Democratic political foes would love to see.

"Do you even pay taxes?" Wyden, top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, said in a written statement announcing the measure. "Do you give to charity? Are you abusing tax loopholes at the expense of middle-class families? Are you keeping your money offshore? People have a right to know."