The tax returns of President Donald Trump are back in the news, and a lawmaker from Butler is weighing in.
Republican Congressman Mike Kelly is a ranking member of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight, which held a hearing Thursday regarding tax law relating to the tax returns of the President and Vice President of the United States.
Kelly expressed concern about the potential use of a certain section of the law that would allow the release of Trump’s returns. Kelly argued this action would set a precedent that this provision of tax law could be used as a weapon against any U.S. citizen.
“Whether you are the President of the United States or a steel worker from western Pennsylvania, you must be assured that politicians cannot use your tax returns against you for partisan political purposes,” Kelly said. “Tax returns contain a significant amount of personal information that is not suitable for publication, and tax law requires that tax return information be kept confidential. As Members of Congress, our role is oversight, not overreach. All U.S. citizens have a right to privacy and freedom from political targeting by government employees and elected officials.”
In 1978, Congress established a process for Presidential candidates and other high-ranking government officials to report their personal financial information and potential conflicts of interest through the Federal Election Commission and the Office of Government Ethics.
“I would support a sincere effort in evaluating areas for increased transparency in a presidential candidate’s personal financial disclosure,” Kelly said. “The proper way to achieve that goal, however, is by legislating. Using the tax code for such a purpose would be a violation of the public trust and a lazy way to avoid the hard work of lawmaking.”
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