We Need to See President’s Tax Returns
The U.S. Constitution has served our country well for nearly 230 years, but it only works when those who have sworn to uphold the Constitution actually put their oath into practice. That practice has been wanting with our representative to Congress, Peter Roskam, who sits on the House Ways and Means Committee.
The Constitution’s Emoluments Clause prohibits those holding any office of profit or trust in the government from receiving anything of value from any foreign power without the consent of Congress. Tax returns provide the only objective record of an individual’s financial balance sheet available to the U.S. government, and the tax code provides one means by which congressional oversight may be brought to bear on the president. The House Ways and Means Committee has the authority to request tax returns from the U.S. Treasury, but Roskam has voted against every effort to request President Donald Trump’s tax returns from the Treasury.
During the debate between Sean Casten and Peter Roskam televised July 26, Roskam claimed that “Tax return policy, its section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code, and it is limited, and the limitation says that it can only be used for purposes of determining whether the Internal Revenue Service has violated the law.”
In fact, while other government bodies are restricted in the purposes for which they may request tax returns, IRC 6103 places no such restrictions on congressional committees. Tax law experts including George K. Yin, former chief of staff of the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, have supported this argument.
The Constitution is the fabric that holds together our system of government. Support of the Constitution must take priority over support of one’s party.