Democrats in New Jersey are reviving efforts to force President Trump to release his tax returns, northjersey.com reports.
This Thursday, the New Jersey state Senate is scheduled to vote on a bill that would bar candidates for president and vice president a spot on the ballot unless they release their tax returns. The bill was passed in 2017, but then-Governor Chris Christie vetoed it.
As northjersey.com points out, at least 28 state have introduced similar bills, all of which have been passed into law.
Trump has remained defiant in the face of repeated calls to make his returns public. Last year, he declared that he won’t release his tax returns as long as they’re under audit.
“They’re under audit. They have been for a long time,” Trump said in November of 2018, claiming that the documents are “extremely complex” and that people “wouldn’t understand” them.
“If I were finished with the audit, I would have an open mind to it,” he added. “When that happens, if that happens, I would certainly have an open mind to it.”
Although it’s not required by law, Trump is defying decades of tradition by not making his tax returns transparent during his candidacy and ensuing presidency. In regards to his claims that he’s unable to because they’re being audited, the IRS has said that audits don’t prohibit people from making their tax information public.
Bills like the one from New Jersey have kicked off a debate over whether or not the proposal is constitutional. According to supporters of the measure, the requirement would just be another rule in a list candidates would have to adhere by to be eligible to run. According to the bill’s sponsor, New Jersey Democratic Senator Loretta Weinberg, voters likely wouldn’t have propelled Trump to the presidency if they saw his tax history.
“It is so obvious with this president that had voters known some of what seem to be his business interests, he may not have been elected president,” Weinberg said.
Featured image via Gage Skidmore/Flickr