Lawmakers In 26 States Just Threw a Wrench At Trump’s Re-election Bid
Less than three months into his presidency, Donald Trump is raising money toward a bid for a second term —earlier than any incumbent president in recent history— pulling in tens of millions of dollars in the months after his election. But lawmakers in 26 states just made his reelection bid a lot more difficult.
Despite growing public outrage and mounting pressure from congressional Democrats, president Donald Trump refuses to voluntarily disclose his tax return to the public. Trump broke with 40 years of precedent in the 2016 presidential election by not releasing the documents. Now, state lawmakers are taking steps to make sure that doesn’t happen again when he runs for re-election.
As massive protest take place nationwide to force Donald Trump to release his tax returns, lawmakers in 26 states have introduced legislation to require presidential and vice presidential candidates to publicly disclose their tax returns to get on the ballot. If future candidates should fail to release their tax returns under this legislation, they would not be allowed to appear on the ballot.
Trump claims that he can’t release his tax returns because they are under a routine audit ― an assertion that is false. President Richard Nixon released them in 1973 even though they were under audit at the time.
Trump’s refusal to disclose his tax returns has only increased speculation about what could be in them. His returns would detail the amount he paid in taxes, how much he donated to charity, whether he paid foreign taxes, whether he has foreign bank accounts and the profits and losses of his many businesses.
While state lawmakers are seeking to force Trump to disclose his tax returns, Republicans in Congress have blocked three of Democrats’ amendments to obtain them.
Here are the states where Presidential Tax Return Bills have been introduced:
The states in blue have introduced legislation to require presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns in order to gain ballot access in 2020.
Democratic New York state Sen. Brad Hoylman introduced the first legislation to make Trump disclose his tax returns to get on the 2020 New York state ballot.
Hoylman’s bill ― the Tax Returns Uniformly Made Public, or TRUMP ― would require all presidential and vice presidential candidates to release the past five years of their taxes 60 days prior to the election. If a candidate failed to meet this requirement, they would be excluded from the ballot.
“We thought, given the barriers in Washington, that states could take up the effort to require presidential and vice presidential candidates to release their taxes in order to qualify for the ballot,” Hoylman told The Huffington Post.
He added, “Ballot qualifications are a time-honored responsibility of states, and at the same time, the current president had broken with over four decades of political tradition.”
Lawmakers in another 25 states have introduced nearly identical legislation since Holyman first released his bill in December. These include Democratic strongholds and states Trump won.