House Ways and Means Committee chair Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) is reluctant to use a newly passed New York State law to seize President Trump’s tax returns, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.
New York State lawmakers passed legislation last month that would authorize the state to hand over the tax returns of any filer to the head of Congress’ Ways and Means committee, i.e. Rep. Neal.
But Bloomberg reports that Neal won’t ask the Empire State for Trump’s returns under the law, fearing that doing so could jeopardize a looming court battle with the Treasury Department over the President’s tax records. Neal has asked IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to provide him with the returns, pursuant to a law that mandates the Treasury to “furnish” certain federal lawmakers with the returns of any filer upon request.
Mnuchin has refused every request, as well as a subpoena that Neal sent last month. That sets the stage Neal to file a lawsuit, which he has not yet done since Mnuchin announced on May 17 that he would not comply with the House’s subpoena.
A lawsuit — while potentially successful over the long term — is likely to take months, if not years to be resolved. As a result, House Democrats have looked to New York’s legislature for an assist.
But Neal’s comments to Bloomberg suggest that he has put the kibosh on that route.
“We don’t have jurisdiction over New York taxes,” Neal said, with Bloomberg reporting that the congressman’s concern speaks to the stated rationale for requesting the returns: examining whether the IRS is impartially auditing its boss, President Trump.
Read the Bloomberg story here.