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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, March 31, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 13
DelBene vs. Reichert over Trump tax returns
Section One
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DelBene vs. Reichert over Trump tax returns

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Seattle-area Congress members Suzan DelBene and Dave Reichert squared off in their House Ways and Means Committee over an attempt to force Donald Trump to disclose his tax returns.

DelBene represents the First Congressional District, stretching from Kirkland and Redmond north to the Canadian border. Reichert is in the eastside's Eighth District, going from Issaquah and Kent all the way to Wenatchee. The Democrats, including DelBene, introduced a resolution asking the US Treasury Department to send them Trump's full tax records from 2006 through 2016, along with supplementary documentation.

The resolution also asked Treasury for documentation of any Trump debts held by foreign governments and foreign companies. It requested information on his investments in foreign countries and foreign enterprises. And the resolution asked for information on any tax shelters, corporate structures, and tax avoidance maneuvers or loopholes used to eliminate tax liability.

The Republicans, including Reichert, voted to kill the Democratic proposal. The resolution accordingly went down to defeat by 24 votes to 16.

DelBene, the cosponsor of the proposal, spoke in favor of it during debate.

'This President is breaking 40 years of precedent with his alarming lack of financial transparency and his refusal to release his tax returns is a serious red flag,' she said. 'Given the President's evasive maneuvering, Congress has a constitutional responsibility to obtain the records needed to perform rigorous, unbiased oversight.'

Reichert voted No, but did not speak on the measure.

Reichert is a senior member of the powerful committee, which writes the country's budget and other financial bills. He chairs the trade subcommittee of Ways and Means.

Last year, he helped rescue the U.S. Export-Import Bank, which was marked for extinction by right-wing Republicans and such groups as the Heritage Foundation.

However Reichert has found himself on the defensive after voting for 'Trumpcare' in committee, and refusing to hold town hall meetings on healthcare. In February, hundreds of his constituents besieged his office, demanding that Reichert vote against repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has also launched an advertising campaign against Reichert.

The Trump tax resolution was never expected to pass, but was designed to embarrass Reichert and other Republicans by forcing them to vote against transparency.

'If this resolution fails, the public should know which members of Congress are continuing to allow President Trump to hide his business dealings and possible conflicts of interest, and the ways that he could gain personally from his tax (reform) plan,' said Frank Clemente, executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness.

Hillary Clinton carried Reichert's Eighth Congressional District in November.

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