January 06, 2017

Kaine Calls On President-Elect Trump, Future Presidential Nominees To Release Tax Returns

Bill would give insight into foreign deals, increase transparency

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine joined Senate colleagues in introducing a bill requiring President-Elect Trump to release his recent tax returns in order to give the public honest insight into the President-Elect’s and future presidential candidates’ actions, values and foreign business dealings. 

“Transparency is a fundamental pillar of democracy, and we should not ignore the important precedent of disclosing tax returns set by presidential candidates forty years ago” said Kaine. “This bill will cement this value of financial transparency into our presidential electoral processes by requiring President-Elect Trump, as well as future candidates for president, to be more forthcoming about their finances to the American people.”

The Presidential Tax Transparency Act requires all sitting presidents to release their most recent 3 years of tax returns to the Office of Government Ethics (OGE). It also requires that, within 15 days of becoming the nominee at the party convention, presidential nominees must release their most recent 3 years of tax returns to the Federal Election Commission (FEC). Should the sitting president or future candidates refuse to comply, the Treasury Secretary will be required to provide the tax returns directly to the OGE or FEC respectively for public release.

For nearly 40 years—since Watergate—candidates from major political parties have voluntarily released tax returns during the campaign. 

Other cosponsors of the legislation include: U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, Tammy Baldwin, Michael Bennet, Ben Cardin, Dianne Feinstein, Jeff Merkley, Chris Murphy, Debbie Stabenow, Tom Udall and Elizabeth Warren.

A one-page summary of the legislative proposal can be found here. The bill text can be found here.