229 House Republicans just voted to keep Trump’s tax returns secret

Judd Legum

Judd Legum Editor-in-Chief, Think Progress

House Republicans voted en masse to block a resolution that would have forced Trump to turn his tax returns over to Congress on Monday night.

The measure was introduced by Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), a member of the House Ways and Means Committee. Under a 1924 law, the Ways and Means Committee is empowered to examine tax returns. The committee could then decide to release them to the full Congress, effectively making them public.

Trump has broken with decades of precedent and refused to release his tax returns, citing an ongoing audit.

Pascrell first brought his request to the Chairman of the Way and Mean Committee, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX). Brady rejected the request, citing concern for Trump’s “civil liberties.”

Pascrell was able to bring the issue to a full vote on the floor through a vehicle known as a “privileged resolution.”

“The American people have the right to know whether or not their president is operating under conflicts of interest related to international affairs, tax reform, government contracts or otherwise,” Pascrell said.

Republicans in the House disagreed, virtually unanimously. Nearly every Republican voted to kill Pascrell’s resolution and keep Trump’s tax returns secret. No Republicans voted to require Trump to hand over his tax returns. (Two Republicans, including Mark Sanford of South Carolina, voted “present.”)

185 Democrats voted in favor of Pascrell’s efforts.

Nearly 1.1 million people have signed a White House petition demanding the immediate release of Trump’s tax returns.

Trump promised to release his tax return if he ever ran for president.

“If I decide to run for office, I’ll produce my tax returns. Absolutely. I would love to do that,” Trump said in 2014.

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Reposted from Think Progress.

Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

Failing Bridges Hold Public Hostage

From the USW

From tumbledown bridges to decrepit roads and failing water systems, crumbling infrastructure undermines America’s safety and prosperity. In coming weeks, Union Matters will delve into this neglect and the urgent need for a rebuilding campaign that creates jobs, fuels economic growth and revitalizes communities.

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) gave the public just a few hours’ notice before closing a major bridge in March, citing significant safety concerns.

The West Seattle Bridge functioned as an essential component of  the city’s local and regional transportation network, carrying 125,000 travelers a day while serving Seattle’s critical maritime and freight industries. Closing it was a huge blow to the city and its citizens. 

Yet neither Seattle’s struggle with bridge maintenance nor the inconvenience now facing the city’s motorists is unusual. Decades of neglect left bridges across the country crumbling or near collapse, requiring a massive investment to keep traffic flowing safely.

When they opened it in 1984, officials predicted the West Seattle Bridge would last 75 years.

But in 2013, cracks started appearing in the center span’s box girders, the main horizontal support beams below the roadway. These cracks spread 2 feet in a little more than two weeks, prompting the bridge’s closure.

And it’s still at risk of falling.  

The city set up an emergency alert system so those in the “fall zone” could be quickly evacuated if the bridge deteriorates to the point of collapse.

More than one-third of U.S. bridges similarly need repair work or replacement, a reminder of America’s urgent need to invest in long-ignored infrastructure.

Fixing or replacing America’s bridges wouldn’t just keep Americans moving. It would also provide millions of family-supporting jobs for steel and cement workers, while also boosting the building trades and other industries.

With bridges across the country close to failure and millions unemployed, America needs a major infrastructure campaign now more than ever.

 

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work