New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday signed legislation requiring state officials to hand over President Donald Trump's tax returns upon request from congressional committees, providing House Democrats another avenue to obtain financial information the White House has refused to release.
Progressives immediately turned their attention to House Ways and Means Committee chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.), who now has the authority to ask New York for Trump's state tax documents.
Ryan Thomas, spokesperson for progressive advocacy group Stand Up America, urged Neal to make the request right away.
"Chairman Richard Neal should immediately request Trump's state tax returns as he is now legally entitled to do," Thomas said in a statement. "Any further delay is an injustice to the American people who deserve transparency about Trump's foreign entanglements and massive conflicts of interest."
For too long, the Trump administration has tried to hide Trump’s conflicts of interest by illegally blocking the release of his tax returns.
But now, New York has given Congress a new route to #ReleaseTheReturns and get answers for the American people—all they have to do is ask.
— Stand Up America (@StandUpAmerica) July 8, 2019
As Common Dreams reported in June, Neal has indicated he has no plans to ask for Trump's state tax returns, sparking outrage from grassroots groups pushing Democrats to use every tool at their disposal to hold the president accountable.
According to CNN reporter Lauren Fox, Neal's position did not change after Cuomo signed the TRUST Act, which gives the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, and the Joint Committee on Taxation access to the president's state tax records.
There are no immediate plans for the House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal to request Trump’s state tax returns despite a bill signed into law in NY, per a Democratic aide with knowledge.https://t.co/mlrYcsIXLG
— Lauren Fox (@FoxReports) July 8, 2019
Neal has said he prefers to focus on obtaining Trump's federal tax returns, even though the president's state tax documents, according to the New York Times, "would likely contain much of the same information as the contested federal returns."
After months of delay, the Massachusetts Democrat sued the Trump administration last week over its refusal to release the president's federal tax records.
Frank Clemente, executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness, said in a statement welcoming Cuomo's signature Monday that the American public deserves to know "if our elected officials, including the president, have financial conflicts that that in any way affects their decisions and policies."
"We need to know if they have business relationships with foreign nations that are adversely affecting their exercise of official duties," said Clemente. "And we need to know if our elected officials, especially real estate developers like President Trump, are paying their fair share of taxes to the government they seek to lead, or using loopholes and unfair tax breaks to escape their obligations."