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'Despicable': House Republicans Torpedo Effort to Force Release of Trump's Tax Returns

229 Republicans voted down measure that would have forced the IRS to publish President Donald Trump's tax returns

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was one of the 229 Republicans who blocked the measure.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was one of the 229 Republicans who blocked the measure. (Photo: Getty)

In a vote Monday night almost exclusively along party lines, a measure to force the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to reveal President Donald Trump's tax returns was blocked by the U.S. House.

In all, 229 Republicans voted to help Trump keep his tax returns secret. (Roll call here.)

"This is despicable," tweeted Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.):

Indeed, while Trump isn't required by law to publish his tax returns, every party nominee has done so since 1976. And with the unprecedented conflicts of interest between the presidency and Trump's business empire, the demand for financial transparency has grown increasingly urgent.

Judd Legum of ThinkProgress explained the obscure law and procedure that Democrats used to bring the measure to a vote:

The measure was introduced [on Monday] by Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), a member of the House Ways and Means Committee. Under a 1924 law, the Ways and Means Committee is empowered to examine tax returns. The committee could then decide to release them to the full Congress, effectively making them public.

Trump has broken with decades of precedent and refused to release his tax returns, citing an ongoing audit.

Pascrell first brought his request to the Chairman of the Ways and Mean Committee, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas). Brady rejected the request, citing concern for Trump’s "civil liberties."

Pascrell was able to bring the issue to a full vote on the floor through a vehicle known as a "privileged resolution."


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Pascrell's resolution observed that a White House petition demanding that Trump release his tax returns has over 1 million signatures, a record for the site.

Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) argued that "Americans deserve to know" who is working against their interests. Those Republicans who voted down the measure are listed here:

Ralph Abraham (La.)
Robert Aderholt (Ala.)
Rick W. Allen (Ga.)
Justin Amash (Mich.)
Mark Amodei (Nev.)
Jodey Arrington (Texas)
Brian Babin (Texas)
Don Bacon (Neb.)
Jim Banks (Ind.)
Lou Barletta (Pa.)
Andy Barr (Ky.)
Jack Bergman (Mich.)
Andy Biggs (Ariz.)
Gus Bilirakis (Fla.)
Sanford Bishop (Mich.)
Rob Bishop (Utah)
Diane Black (Tenn.)
Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.)
Rod Blum (Iowa)
Mike Bost (Ill.)
Kevin Brady (Texas)
Dave Brat (Va.)
Jim Bridenstine (Okla.)
Mo Brooks (Ala.)
Susan Brooks (Ind.)
Vern Buchanan (Fla.)
Ken Buck (Colo.)
Larry Bucshon (Ind.)
Ted Budd (N.C.)
Michael Burgess (Texas)
Bradley Byrne (Ala.)
Ken Calvert (Calif.)
Buddy Carter (Ga.)
John Carter (Texas)
Steve Chabot (Ohio)
Jason Chaffetz (Utah)
Liz Cheney (Wyo.)
Mike Coffman (Colo.)
Tom Cole (Okla.)
Doug Collins (Ga.)
Chris Collins (N.Y.)
James Comer (Ky.)
Barbara Comstock (Va.)
Mike Conaway (Texas)
Paul Cook (Calif.)
Ryan Costello (Pa.)
Kevin Cramer (N.D.)
John Culberson (Texas)
Carlos Curbelo (Fla.)
Warren Davidson (Ohio)
Rodney Davis (Ill.)
Jeff Denham (Calif.)
Charlie Dent (Pa.)
Ron DeSantis (Fla.)
Scott DesJarlais (Tenn.)
Mario Diaz-Balart (Fla.)
Daniel Donovan (N.Y.)
Sean Duffy (Wisc.)
Jeff Duncan (S.C.)
Jimmy Duncan (Tenn.)
Neal Dunn (Fla.)
Tom Emmer (Minn.)
Blake Farenthold (Texas)
John Faso (N.Y.)
Drew Ferguson (Ga.)
Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.)
Chuck Fleischmann (Tenn.)
Bill Flores (Texas)
Jeff Fortenberry (Neb.)
Virginia Foxx (N.C.)
Trent Franks (Ariz.)
Rodney Frelinghuysen (N.J.)
Matt Gaetz (Fla.)
Mike Gallagher (Wisc.)
Thomas Garrett (Va.)
Bob Gibbs (Ohio)
Louie Gohmert (Texas)
Bob Goodlatte (Va.)
Paul Gosar (Ariz.)
Trey Gowdy (S.C.)
Kay Granger (Texas
Tom Graves (Ga.)
Garrett Graves (La.)
Sam Graves (Mo.)
Morgan Griffith (Va.)
Glenn Grothman (Wisc.)
Brett Guthrie (Ky.)
Gregg Harper (Miss.)
Andy Harris (Md.)
Vicky Hartzler (Mo.)
Jeb Hensarling (Texas)
Jaime Herrera Beutler (Wash.)
Jody B. Hice (Ga.)
Clay Higgins (La.)
French Hill (Ark.)
George Holding (N.C.)
Trey Hollingsworth (Ind.)
Richard Hudson (N.C.)
Bill Huizenga (Mich.)
Randy Hultgren (Ill.)
Will Hurd (Texas)
Darrell Issa (Calif.)
Lynn Jenkins (Kan.)
Evan Jenkins (W.V.)
Mike Johnson (La.)
Bill Johnson (Ohio)
Sam Johnson (Texas)
Jim Jordan (Ohio)
David Joyce (Ohio)
John Katko (N.Y.)
Trent Kelly (Miss.)
Mike Kelly (Pa.)
Steve King (Iowa)
Peter King (N.Y.)
Adam Kinzinger (Ill.)
Steve Knight (Calif.
David Kustoff (Tenn.)
Raul Labrador (Idaho)
Darin LaHood (Ill.)
Doug LaMalfa (Calif.)
Doug Lamborn (Colo.)
Leonard Lance (N.J.)
Bob Latta (Ohio)
Jason Lewis (Minn.)
Frank LoBiondo (N.J.)
Billy Long (Mo.)
Barry Loudermilk (Ga.)
Mia Love (Utah)
Frank Lucas (Okla.)
Blaine Luetkemeyer (Mo.)
MacArthur (N.J.)
Marchant (Texas)
Tom Marino (Pa.)
Roger Marshall (Kan.)
Thomas Massie (Ky.)
Brian Mast (Fla.)
Kevin McCarthy (Calif.)
Michael McCaul (Texas)
Tom McClintock (Calif.)
Patrick McHenry (N.C.)
David McKinley (W.V.)
Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.)
Martha McSally (Ariz.)
Mark Meadows (N.C.)
Pat Meehan (Pa.)
Paul Mitchell (Mich.)
John Moolenaar (Mich.)
Alex Mooney (W.V.)
Markwayne Mullin (Okla.)
Timothy F. Murphy (Pa.)
Dan Newhouse (Wash.)
Kristi Noem (S.D.)
Devin Nunes (Calif.)
Pete Olson (Texas)
Steven Palazzo (Miss.)
Gary Palmer (Ala.)
Erik Paulsen (Minn.)
Steve Pearce (N.M.)
Scott Perry (Pa.)
Robert Pittenger (N.C.)
Ted Poe (Texas)
Bruce Poliquin (Maine)
Bill Posey (Fla.)
John Ratcliffe (Texas)
Tom Reed (N.Y.)
Dave Reichert (Wash.)
Jim Renacci (Ohio)
Tom Rice (S.C.)
Martha Roby (Ala.)
Phil Roe (Tenn.)
Mike Rogers (Ala.)
Hal Rogers (Ky.)
Todd Rokita (Ind.)
Francis Rooney (Fla.)
Thomas J. Rooney (Fla.)
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.)
Peter Roskam (Ill.)
Dennis Ross (Fla.)
Keith Rothfus (Pa.)
David Rouzer (N.C.)
Ed Royce (Calif.)
Steve Russell (Okla.)
John Rutherford (Fla.)
Steve Scalise (La.)
David Schweikert (Ariz.)
Austin Scott (Ga.)
Jim Sensenbrenner (Wisc.)
Pete Sessions (Texas)
John Shimkus (Ill.)
Bill Shuster (Pa.)
Mike Simpson (Idaho)
Jason T. Smith (Mo.)
Adrian Smith (Neb.)
Chris Smith (N.J.)
Lamar S. Smith (Texas)
Lloyd Smucker (Pa.)
Elise Stefanik (N.Y.)
Chris Stewart (Utah)
Steve Stivers (Ohio)
Scott Taylor (Va.)
Claudia Tenney (N.Y.)
Glenn Thompson (Pa.)
Mac Thornberry (Texas)
Pat Tiberi (Ohio)
Scott Tipton (Colo.)
David Trott (Mich.)
Mike Turner (Ohio)
Fred Upton (Mich.)
David Valadao (Calif.)
Ann Wagner (Mo.)
Tim Walberg (Mich.)
Greg Walden (Ore.)
Mark Walker (N.C.)
Jackie Walorski (Ind.)
Mimi Walters (Calif.)
Randy Weber (Texas)
Daniel Webster (Fla.)
Brad Wenstrup (Ohio)
Bruce Westerman (Ark.)
Roger Williams (Texas)
Joe Wilson (S.C.)
Rob Wittman (Va.)
Steve Womack (Ark.)
Rob Woodall (Ga.)
Kevin Yoder (Kan.)
Ted Yoho (Fla.)
Don Young (Alaska)
David Young (Iowa)
Lee Zeldin (N.Y.)

Two Republicans, Mark Sanford (S.C.) and Walter Jones (N.C.), voted "present" rather than with their fellow party members. 185 Democrats voted in favor of Pascrell's effort.

"The American people have the right to know whether or not their president is operating under conflicts of interest related to international affairs, tax reform, government contracts or otherwise," Pascrell told

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