Five House Republicans will return Thursday to a two-year term in the White House after joining Democrats in voting on a bill that would require an annual audit of a sitting president’s tax returns.
The House, by a vote of 222 to 201, approved a bill titled the Presidential Tax Return and Audit Transparency Act. The law seeks to codify current IRS policy, which requires the president to be audited each time he serves in the White House.
Current regulations are found in government agency regulatory manuals, not federal law. Laws will codify beliefs.
Republicans Adam Kinzinger (Illinois), Fred Upton (Michigan), Liz Cheney (Wyoming), John Catko (New York), Tom Rice (South Carolina) ) joined all voting Democrats in supporting the bill.
No Republican will return to Congress next year after losing a bid for re-election or opposing a run for another term.
Upton said Trump’s failure to release his tax returns while in office motivated him to vote for the bill.
“I remember what he said in 2016 that got me going.
“So it took six years. And from what I read this morning, I understand that the IRS probably dropped the ball, but he said he would. So I’ll jig it up,” he added.
Republicans in Michigan said they needed to put in place a mechanism to request a tax audit of the president.
For years, Mr. Trump has said the taxes were under regular audits and could not be released, promising to release the documents once the investigation was complete. However, the information was not made public.
The House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday voted to make public an investigation into the IRS’ mandatory audit program conducted under the Trump administration, with the agency auditing the then-president’s tax returns in 2017 or 2018. It became clear that they did not.
It was April 3, 2019, the same day that Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Richard Neal (D-Massachusetts) asked the then IRS director for Trump’s tax returns.
The panel also plans to release Trump’s six-year tax returns following Tuesday’s vote.