Forced Presidential Tax Release Law Passes Senate Vote & Trump Is Raging Hard

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The furor over Donald Trump’s as-yet-unreleased tax returns is almost equal in magnitude as his desperate attempts to keep them hidden. As the debate over the legality of forcing a president or a presidential candidate continues, Trump does more every day to show just why it’s so important to so many Americans that the leaders of their country are transparent and without conflict.

In Washington, a state that went to Hillary Clinton by just over 16 points in 2016, a bill was passed by the state senate that will keep Trump off the ballot should he refuse to release his tax returns. All candidates, regardless of party affiliation, would be required to do so.

CBS News reports:

‘A proposal inspired by President Donald Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns advanced Tuesday in Washington state. A bill in the state Legislature would require candidates to release five years of returns before they could appear on either the primary or general election ballot in the state.’

The bill would only affect presidential and vice-presidential candidates. While some voters disagree that the public release of tax returns should be required, Sen. Patty Kuderer (D-WA) asserted that it’s an important move for voters as they make a decision about who they want to lead their country.

‘How a candidate has handled their own financial affairs and personal investments are relevant details for voters choosing a commander-in-chief, Kuderer added.

‘”It’s become part of the vetting process,” Kuderer said later.’

The opposing sides of the debate both cite constitutional grounds to justify their positions. While those arguing for the bill say that the state governments have the power to oversee elections within their states, but those arguing against say that the rules should not be changed now.

‘The U.S. Supreme Court has held that states cannot add to the qualifications of senators and congressional representatives outlined in the Constitution.

‘But legal experts have said the law is at least partly unclear, since the Constitution also gives states the power to set rules for how presidential elections are held within their borders.’

With questions surrounding Trump’s conflicts of interest in several different countries with whom he now controls policy, transparency is a more valued trait than ever before, and Trump has offered none of it.

‘Trump’s tax returns would contain information on his sources of income, how much he earned, and any strategies he used to reduce his tax bill.’

Featured image via Flickr by Gage Skidmore under a Creative Commons license