Some U.S. House lawmakers again tried to force the release of President Donald Trump's tax returns, but the effort was voted down along party lines.
Rep. Bill Pascrell – the same Democratic lawmaker who unsuccessfully took part in a similar maneuver in a committee a couple weeks ago – filed what's called a "privileged" resolution in the House Monday night, Politico reported. It would have forced House lawmakers to vote on whether to officially request the president's tax returns from the past decade, and do so within two days, as The Hill explained.
Pascrell, from New Jersey, offered the privileged resolution, but the chair said it didn't constitute privilege material, and dismissed it, records show.
So Pascrell tried to appeal it, which another lawmaker – Republican Kevin McCarthy – said should be tabled (essentially turned down). The House held a vote on whether to table Pascrell's appeal – and the tabling won out, 229-185.
And that was the end of that.
So how did people vote?
All 229 votes to table it were Republican. All 185 votes in support of the appeal effort were Democrat, GovTrack shows. (Two Republicans simply voted "present," and 14 lawmakers didn't vote.)
With Minnesota's congressmen and congresswomen specifically, Reps. Jason Lewis, Erik Paulsen and Tom Emmer – all Republicans – voted to table Pascrell's appeal. Paulsen also voted to block the above-mentioned committee's attempt to obtain the president's tax returns.
Reps. Tim Walz, Betty McCollum, Collin Peterson and Rick Nolan – all Democrats – voted to support the resolution. Rep. Keith Ellison wasn't there to weigh in.
If you would like to contact your congressman and let them know whether you think they're doing a good or poor job, you can find phone numbers for their offices here.
How the public feels
Trump became the first major presidential nominee since 1976 to not release at least one year of tax returns, saying he was being audited and couldn't (even though the IRS has said there's no issue if he were to release them).
Questions about his financial ties have persisted.
A couple January polls asked the public about this:
- In an ABC/Post poll, 74 percent of people said Trump “should release his tax returns.” Among Trump supporters that number came in at 49 percent.
- A Morning Consult/Politico poll meanwhile found 45 percent of respondents said they “care” that Trump hasn’t released his tax returns, while 44 percent said they do not care. Democrats (71 percent) were far more likely to care than Republicans (20 percent).
A petition created Jan. 20 on the official White House petitions page, which asks for the president’s full tax returns to be released, has more than 1 million signatures. The site promises that any petitions that get at least 100,000 signatures in 30 days will get reviewed by policy experts, and an official statement will be released.