Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Rep. Richard Neal has pushed back the deadline for the White House to submit six years of President Trump's tax returns to April 23.
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This comes after Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said last week that the Treasury is consulting with the Department of Justice on the committee's request in order to ensure that “the IRS does not become weaponized like it was under the Nixon administration.”
In a letter, Congressman Neal said the request for the president's tax returns is well within the committee's “oversight authority” and that “it is not the proper function of the IRS, Treasury, or Justice to question or second guess the motivations of the committee or its reasonable determinations regarding its need for the requested tax returns and return information.”
Congressman Tom Reed, R-N.Y., told FOX Business that ultimately this is “an issue that is going to have to be litigated.” Reed went on to agree with Mnuchin, accusing Democrats of weaponizing the tax code for political purposes.
“Once you weaponize the tax code for political purposes like this request is, that is very dangerous...when you’re going after an individual clearly for political purposes and you don’t care about the privacy rights of those associated with the individuals, that is a problem and rightfully should be pushed back on,” he said on Monday.
Reed said that the obsession over the president's tax returns is because Democrats are “doing everything they can to pacify [the] extreme portion of their party that is going any way they can after the president.”
The New York Representative stressed how important it is that Congress pushes back on this request by the House Ways and Means Committee.
“Where does this stop? Does it stop with your political adversary at the local level, at the state level? This is a very dangerous slippery slope that we have got to be pushing back on,” Reed said. “When you go after someone like this...you are really doing something under the tax code that hasn’t been done historically ever in America’s history.”
Unlike previous presidents, and many White House hopefuls, Trump has refused to make his tax returns public saying he will not release them while they are under IRS audit. A majority, or 51 percent, of registered voters support Democrats’ efforts to obtain the president’s tax returns, versus 36 percent who oppose the push, according to a Morning Consult/Politico poll.
If the new deadline is missed, the House Ways and Means Committee will likely subpoena the president's tax returns or take the issue to court.