Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin defended his decision to block Congress from obtaining President Trump’s tax returns while releasing documents related to Hunter Biden to Senate Republicans.
Mnuchin has withheld Trump’s tax returns despite federal law stating his department must turn over any tax return requested by the House Ways and Means committee but quickly complied with a Republican request to obtain documents related to Hunter Biden.
“One request is backed up by clear, statutory language in tax code section 6103 requiring the ‘shall provide’ tax documents to the committee,” Sen. Ron Wyden, the committee’s top Democrat, told Mnuchin. “The other request doesn’t have the same legal basis, and certainly, to me, it looks political.”
“The request from the Democratic chair, with a firm legal basis, was met with nothing but legal foot-dragging,” Wyden added. “The request that came from the Republican chairs got VIP treatment. They got, you know, a response out the door in a flash. So it looks to me like there’s a double standard here. And that you all are tipping the scales of congressional oversight. What am I missing Mr. Secretary?”
Mnuchin defends move:
“As I explained, the House disclosure of tax returns is subject to [Code] 2103, which on the advice of counsel, as we have documented, we had significant concerns,” Mnuchin told Wyden.
“You’re stonewalling about stonewalling!” Wyden retorted.
“Well, that’s really not fair at all,” Mnuchin complained.
He said that tax returns were different from the financial documents related to Biden.
“People are confusing these issues. They’re completely different issues,” Mnuchin said.
Mnuchin says tax cuts will pay for themselves:
Mnuchin also defended Trump’s economic policies during the hearing.
“Tax cuts, regulatory reform and better trade deals are improving the lives of hardworking Americans,” he said.
Despite a $1.3 trillion deficit projected by the Congressional Budget Office, Mnuchin argued that Trump’s tax cuts will pay for themselves.
“Our analysis has always been higher than CBO. As I’ve said previously, we believe that the tax cuts will pay for themselves over a 10-year period of time, it’s how we score them,” Mnuchin said. “Let me just comment that spending is increasing as well, but the trillion and a half dollars of tax cuts we have made will pay for themselves.”