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Democrats promise to force IRS to hand over Trump's tax returns if they win control of the House

Rep. Bill Pascrell (right) (D-N.J.), seen during a 2013 hearing with Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) in Washington, D.C., has said that if Democrats win a majority in the House of Representatives, they will use that majority to demand that the IRS hand over President Donald Trump's tax returns. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

A number of Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives have promised that if they gain control of the House in November, they will demand that the IRS hand over President Donald Trump's tax returns.

What are Democrats saying?

“You’re damn right,” Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) told the Huffington Post when asked if Democrats would continue their pursuit of Trump's tax returns if they manage to gain a majority.

Pascrell has repeatedly demanded that Trump to release his tax returns, and unsuccessfully called on Republicans in Congress to join Democrats in ordering the IRS to hand them over. On his website, Pascrell lists 27 different attempts by Democrats to force the issue since Feb. 1, 2017.

Other congressional Democrats, including Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) and Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), have also said publicly that they would support efforts to obtain Trump's returns.

This determination isn't new. In May, the Washington Examiner reported that in interviews with more than 30 congressional Democrats, every one of them agreed that their party needed to be a check on the Trump administration.

Is this legal?

If Democrats gain control of the House, they could demand that the IRS hand over Trump's tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee. From there, they could begin the process of releasing them to the public.

How likely is it that Democrats get the House?

Republicans currently hold a 43-seat majority in the House (236 to 193). Democrats need to get the number of seats they control to 217 before they could begin making demands of the IRS.

While this is a sizable amount of ground to cover, Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight website predicts that Democrats have a 72.4 percent chance of achieving this goal.

However, some Republicans, including President Trump, have spoken of a theoretical coming "red wave," in which they not only hold onto their control of the current number of seats, but pick up additional ones.

There are currently six vacant House seats due to the resignations of four Republicans and one Democrat, and the death of Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.).

One last thing…
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