California’s newly passed bill may force Trump to reveal some personal information that he's been trying to keep hidden since before the election.
Back in January, a petition calling for Trump to release his tax returns reached 200,000 signatures in just two days. Any petition on the site that reaches over 100,000 signatures in under 30 days will receive a response from the White House.
Counselor Kellyanne Conway responded to the petition saying that Trump would not be disclosing his tax returns, backtracking on promises Trump made on the campaign trail.
Trump interrupted decades of precedent by becoming the first nominee since the '70s to refuse to release his tax returns. He falsely claimed many times that he would eventually release them when the ongoing IRS audit was complete.
“They voted for him, and let me make this very clear: Most Americans are very focused on what their tax returns will look like while President Trump is in office, not what his look like.” said Conway, “And you know full well that President Trump and his family are complying with all the ethical rules, everything they need to do to step away from his businesses and be a full-time president.”
Despite multiple polls concluding that three-fourths of Americans believed Trump should release his tax returns, Trump did not comply.
What’s Happening Now:
Recently, California passed The Presidential Tax Transparency and Accountability Act that will require all candidates to release the last five years of their tax returns in order to appear on the state ballot. Under the bill, the candidate’s tax returns would be made available at the public’s disposal on the California Secretary of State’s website.
Many people are praising the bill, believing it will give the people the transparency they deserve from a presidential candidate.
State Senator Scott Wiener, an author of the bill, said it will be “giving the American people the honesty and transparency they deserve.”
“As the months continue to go by in the disastrous Trump Administration and the investigations and conflicts of interest pile up, it becomes more and more clear how critical basic transparency is in how we elect our president,” Weiner said in a statement.
Many believe that Trump’s refusal to disclose his tax returns is a threat to our democracy and the traditions past presidents have established in order to gain the trust of the people.
“President Trump’s blatant disregard for the tradition of releasing tax returns is dangerous to our democracy,” state Senator Mike McGuire, another author of the bill, said. “For decades, every President has put their personal beliefs aside and put our country first and released their returns.”
With an overwhelming democrat victory with the support of two Republicans, the bill passed 50-18. Many Republicans are arguing that the bill is unconstitutional. Matthew Harper fired back at Democrats, saying the authors of the bill should release their own tax returns.
“The hypocrisy at this level is absolutely amazing and incredible,” he said. “This is shameful, hypocritical and completely out of order.”
The Presidential Tax Transparency and Accountability Act now pends final approval from the Senate before making its way to California Governor Jerry Brown's office.
Mike McGuire said, “SB 149 helps to reestablish desperately needed transparency in the White House, and we are looking forward to seeing the Governor’s signature on the bill.”
H/T: The Hill