Ignoring the vast majority of Americans who say they want President Donald Trump to release his taxes, GOP lawmakers who have the power to obtain the records on Tuesday blocked an effort to do so.
Republican members of the House Ways and Means Committee voted unanimously against using an obscure law which leans on the body's legal authority to demand the records. As the Associated Press reported, "committee Democrats tried to amend a routine annual oversight plan to insert a provision that called for obtaining Trump's tax returns," after which the committee "could then vote to make them public."
The effort failed with a 23-15 vote, despite attempts by Democrats on the committee to frame the issue as a matter of national security amid lingering questions over what role the Trump's investments are playing in his presidential decision-making.
"No one on this committee can say for sure that Trump doesn't have investments in Russia," Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-N.J.) said. According to AP, Pascrell vowed to raise the issue "over and over and over again"—as did other lawmakers on Twitter.
We need to know how the President's investments & activities in the past might influence his present and future decisions. https://t.co/T2cegf0SQy
— Sandy Levin (@repsandylevin) February 14, 2017
We won't stop our fight for transparency. The American people deserve to know. https://t.co/xZV4PfZd5P
— Judy Chu (@RepJudyChu) February 14, 2017
Despite White House claims that the American people "don't care at all" about Trump's taxes, an ABC News/Washington Post poll last month found that 74 percent of citizens, including 49 percent of his own supporters, say he should release his tax returns.