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Democrats introduce bill to force Trump, future presidents to reveal tax returns


This is one of the first agenda items for the newly sworn in 116th Congress

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On Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the other House Democrats announced that they've introduced a reform package that would require President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and all future candidates for the presidency to release 10 years of tax returns.

Here's what we know

The reform package, which has been dubbed "The For the People Act" and given the designation "House Resolution 1," will also address an array of other ethics and campaign finance reform measures.

Trump's tax returns have been an ongoing source of contention. The president has repeatedly refused to turn over his tax returns, insisting that he cannot because he's currently under audit. Democrats have tried before to introduce legislation that would force him to turn over these returns, but until now they have not had the votes in the House of Representatives for such legislation to gain any real traction.

Presidential candidates have typically released several years of their tax returns as a gesture of transparency, but they are not currently required to do so by law.

The exact text of the bill has not been released, which is typical so soon after it's introduced. The summary for it on the website for the House of Representatives states that the goal of the bill will be to "expand Americans' access to the ballot box, reduce the influence of big money in politics, and strengthen ethics rules for public servants, and for other purposes."

Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) optimistically told ABC News that the resolution "captures all the things the public has wanted to see over the last few years in terms of seeing their voice matter again in Washington on Capitol Hill."

What else?

According to CNN, the resolution would also target so-called dark money by requiring "super PACs, 501(c)(4) groups and other organizations spending money in elections to disclose donors who contribute more than $10,000." Dark money refers to money donated to a political campaign or cause anonymously, so that there is no way to identify the original donor.

During the 2018 campaign season, Democrats spent more dark money than Republicans did.

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