April 15, 2019

Wyden: “Americans have a right to know how Donald Trump benefits from Donald Trump’s tax laws”

Portland, Ore. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today spoke at a rally in Portland, Ore. and called for Donald Trump’s tax returns to be released: 

It is wonderful to be here with Senator Fagan and Commissioner Hoyle.

I’m going to start with one request: Will you be as loud now as Rip City was for the Blazers yesterday? We want to make sure Donald Trump gets our message loud and clear on Tax Filing Day. Wherever he is – Mar-a-Lago, got his Twitter feed going, maybe one of his ritzy golf clubs – what we want to do is send a real, clear, understandable message today.

And as we begin, I’m going to try to take care of the clear part of the message, I’m going to need you to be loud. Here’s the message from Oregon, as clear as Crater Lake – Americans have a right to know how Donald Trump benefits from Donald Trump’s tax laws. 

I introduced legislation requiring presidential candidates of both political parties to release their returns. I will make this a filibuster-free-zone, but just a little bit of history, releasing tax returns has always been the lowest ethical bar for a president or candidate. Now we have a president who won’t even lift a toe to clear the bar.

Is this the Oregon way where we value transparency? Is this this Oregon way where we count on openness and accountability? I can almost hear you. I also want it to be understood that this is part of what Donald Trump said he would do and like William Peter Wyden, age 11, would say: this is a whopper.

President Trump says that well-to-do people, like him, weren’t going to get a tax cut. Do you know that a key part of this tax bill is to lower the top rate for the biggest earners in America? Whopper number one.

Whopper number two. They said that their tax bill would pay for itself. That one is a really big one. So they went out and borrowed 1.5 trillion dollars through their tax bill, broke that promise. But let me give you a promise this morning. We aren’t going to let them make up for that lost revenue by cutting Medicare and Social Security.

And I’ll also note that they said that the typical person was going to average a $4,000 wage increase. Big, big whopper.

So, last week, I was pressing republicans to do various oversight and make sure that the president released his returns as he promised. You know what he said? He said he wasn’t inclined to release his returns.

Let me wrap up with a clear message: his inclinations are irrelevant to the law.

Let me just point out for a minute. Section 6103, I’m sure you were reading it at breakfast, says when there is a request from the Finance Committee or the Ways and Means Committee, the IRS shall make the return available.

A video of Wyden’s remarks are available here.