FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy joined U.S. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon in reintroducing legislation that will require future presidential nominees to release their recent tax returns.
The bill, called the Presidential Tax Transparency Act, would give voters insight into the President-elect’s income, holdings, and foreign business dealings. President-elect Donald J. Trump has not released his most recent returns.
“Americans deserve to know if the President of the United States is making decisions on behalf of the citizens of this country or to protect his own investments,” Murphy said. “The presidency is the most powerful position in the world – with the stroke of a pen the President can lift or impose sanctions, affect federal contracts, or influence foreign government actions. The person sitting in that office shouldn’t be hiding anything about his or her financial interests.”
Presidents do not have a legal obligation to release their tax returns. Every president since Richard Nixon has done so while in office, but Trump refused. He claimed his returns were under audit, and said he would release them when the audit was completed.
The Presidential Tax Transparency Act requires all sitting presidents to release their most recent three 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 three 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.