tv House Ways and Means Committee Considers Resolution Seeking Presidents Tax... CSPAN March 29, 2017 2:33am-3:17am EDT
when the chewing stops, we recognize the last words and give you back those 15 seconds. >> i thank you, chairman and as always, i thank him for the dignity brings to the hearings and this is always a pleasure as a member of the committee to learn from your colleagues on the committee. i rise in strong support of mr. escrow -- pascrell. the gentleman has been persistent in his goal and desire to achieve what i think is just pure common sense in that americans have the right to and sometimes on this committee, things can get heated, and one side is accusing the other of being on a witchhunt. the other side appears to be saying no, there is a cover-up.
justice, it was said democracy and freedom is that with these -- which leads you not to sure. in this case, there is more than enough evidence on both sides to leave people not to shore. sure. it is obvious, that what is needed is for the president to be forthcoming. i especially appreciated the words of mr. man. had the president had the wisdom, he would've nominated him to be attorney general here in this great country of ours. >> will the gentleman yield? >> not just yet. [laughter] i'll take that as a compliment. i'm also remembered of what my grandfather would say. is ases where there back-and-forth between both sides, my grandfather would stop and say, well, it is an old
line, trust everyone, but count the cards. the american people deserve to have the cards cut. in fact, they may need a new shuffle -- reshuffle and new deal in order to get to the truth. with that, i yield to mr. crawley. >> for the record, another example as to why we need to see the returns and as we the committee should see them and determine if shui should make them -- if we should make them public. we know donald trump sign multiple contract with multiple developers for a planned five star hotel and residents called trump international residents and hotel. hotel that remains unopened to this day. the developers behind this ,roject or business associates a former transportation minister in one of the country's most corrupt oligarchs. the foreign corrupt practices law for bids companies from
participating in skiing reward in exchange for material benefit or preferential treatment. it a crime for an american company to unknowingly benefit from a partner's corruption if it could have discovered illicit activity but avoided undertaking that due diligence. the gentleman in question earned a salary of $12,000 a year and was a billionaire. while the trump organization claims they have followed the law, did they really not realize this guy had been accused of being corrupt? come on. maybe that is why they refused to release detail of the investigation or payments made to or by the trump organization. as an aside, i should mention this correct family is also accused of having ties related to iran. we don't know to what extent iranian companies were involved.
don't the american citizens deserve to at least know that answer, especially since iranian entities have been involved in the killing of u.s. troops? don't americans to serve the full truth? let's release the tax returns to the committee and prove me wrong. ifthere is nothing there, donald trump did nothing illegal, if there are no conflicts, and what we have to be afraid of? but if there is something illegal or corrupt that can be discovered in those returns, why are you protecting him? let's get to the bottom of these questions so the american people and not donald trump's business interests. i yield back the rest of the time. >> mr. chairman, no one in the hearings we have had has said the losses -- law says the president must give his taxes. --one has said that we want
this committee would go into private session and then decide what we would do. mr. chairman, it is clear what the rules of our committee are. rice, you will recognize the last word. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i was struck by mr. larson's quoting justice learned hand with respect to these three items mr. pascrell seeks to expose president trump -- trump's tax returns. items one and two would not be disclosed by his tax returns. they are on his financial disclosure which anyone can see. mr. trump's use of any tax shelters, corporate structures, avoidance maneuvers are loopholes to reduce or -- as if tax liability
it bears something sinister there. hand spoke clearly on that. judge hand said anyone may so arrange his affairs that his taxes shall be as low as possible. he is not bound to choose the pattern which will best pay the treasury. there is not any patriotic duty to increase one's taxes. over and over again, courts have said there is nothing sinister in so arranging one's affairs to keep taxes low as possible. everyone does so, rich and poor , for, and all do right nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands. taxes are enforced exactions, not voluntary contributions. indemand more in the may --
the name of morals is kanter. >> thank you, mr. chairman. interestingan exercise. i ask -- appreciate the back-and-forth. for me, one of the issues that is most critical is that for the first time in american history, we have a president who is can -- has continued in office with his family conducting far-flung business activities with multiple entitlements -- entanglements. there is vast potential here to monetize the presidency, which the a person's brand and way these efforts have been manipulated by the president, give pause.
i am of the opinion it is no longer just a good idea to examine the president's tax return, i think it is imperative. there are all sorts of issues. each week, we are finding more connections with the russians coming out, seemingly every day. we are all aware of the $100 million payment from a russian buyer of a home that donald too mucht bought earlier for $40 million. what was going on with that transaction? can we find out what improvements were made? dealing with offshore accounts. his stated opposition to the alternative minimum tax. we have only seen one tax return in the last 25 years, but out of $30 revealed there was some million in alternative tax payments.
how much does he stand to gain with his advocacy for eliminating the alternative minimum tax? these are things that the american public, i think, is entitled to know and it is important for the committee to have to evaluate the interaction that we are going to have this administration, with this ,resident, with his family conducting ongoing business activities around the world involved with a wide variety of foreign interests in terms of lending and people who are involved with partnerships and utilizing these properties. we have never seen anything like this. i think there is good reason for all previous presidents -- with the exception of gerald ford -- since record -- richard nixon, to deal with disclosure. but in this case it is imperative. we see a president whose public approval is plummeting.
we see these entanglements. we see we are spending upwards towards half $1 billion perhaps for the care and feeding of his family as they go back and forth. unprecedented scale of expenditure on the part of the public, raises legitimate questions we ought to explore. and i, for one, would hope we would step up and do our job to help the american public understand what is at risk. i see my friend, mr. doggett from texas flinching here -- >> is the gentleman aware that on the partial 2005 return, which is the only groups we have out of all these years, that if mr. trump were successful in the -- and the alternative limited tax was eliminated, he would have paid in your 3.48% of his income. an employee's of
social security contribution and that would have been it, on a $150 million of income. that is the kind of self-interest you are talking about, that he could have in any tax revisions this committee chooses to make? stand -- mentioned he would stand to gain $30 million, but i appreciate your putting it into perspective. for the alternative minimum tax, he would be paying less than postal workers. >> would you further yield for unanimous consent to put into the record -- we have heard so much about this financial disclosure form, but all 564 a.d.ions on oge form to 70 -- 278e. consentask unanimous but this financial disclosure on the record. >> a couple questions. is that the president's financial disclosure. is it similar to the one we as
members of congress -- >> i don't know, because -- >> but it is -- >> it identifies 564 positions. >> quite a bit of information. without objection. good. >> i'll give you back the 13 seconds you gave me. >> thank you, sir. the gentleman yields negative amount back. ms. sanchez, you are recognized. >> i want to thank rall fortative pesc bringing this ridiculous issue hopefully to a conclusion. it is hard to add more to what has only been said on the subject and i am beginning to feel like a broken record on ins side of the dais favor of what mr. pascrell is
trying to do. but we're going to continue to press forward in an attempt to get mr. trump to make good on his promise to release his tax returns. someone who makes a problem -- promise and doesn't keep it is someone who lies or has something to hide. the last time the ways and means committee address this topic -- i remind my colleagues that as members of congress, we took an open to uphold and defend the constitution. when we swear that does, we recognize the responsibility to our constituents and the nation as representatives elected to a coequal branch of government, holding the executive branch accountable is a minimum step in for filling that duty. information regarding potential conflicts of interest, whether a person has been unduly influenced or whether a person violated a coat of condi -- conduct or statutes is absolutely necessary oversight.
since president trump has refused to follow the customs of releasing his returns, i think it is our duty to support this measure to try and obtain that information. since this committee last voted on this issue in february, have continued to hear is reports linking the president or his close associates to entanglements or worse with russian government on an almost daily basis. ofil we have a full picture the president's financial holdings, the sources of his income and other pertinent information, we can't properly assess this situation. so i urge my colleagues on the committee to put our national security in the best interest of our country above party politics and support mr. -- mr. pascrell 's resolution. before i give my time, i want to just address the issue that was raised by my republican colleagues about financial disclosure forms. president trump has not filed
his financial disclosure forms for this year. vendors of congress are required to file those and the deadline is may 15 of this year. and in fact, with extensions and other kind of dilatory tactics, it may well be two years into his first term before we ever seen the president's financial disclosure forms. that is why i have introduced a piece of legislation called the fair act, which would require all executive branch and government employees who are required to file a financial disclosure form to all file it by the same deadline that members of congress and members ,f the senate have to file by and i think what is good for us is what is good for the rest of government. with that, i yield balance of my time to mr. pascrell. >> tonight at 5:05, this was released. you can't make this up. i have 40 hours of material to present to this committee.
it keeps coming in. trump's privately held company works through a network of subsidiaries and partnerships that make direct connections hard to trace, particularly since he has refused to release his tax filings. in addition, some of the trump organization's investments operate through shell companies and limited liability corporations." by the way, the headline on this will curehich we you probably tomorrow is, trump's business network reached alledged russian mobsters. let me read you some of their names. here, here. how about, felix slater? time inn -- he spent prison for stabbing a man in the in 1991. a glass
terording to a lawsuit, sa held a controlling share at the bay rock group. i know you know that since you are studying this issue. come to solo condominium tower in new york. mascovich?lexander a mining billionaire, a source of money in the project in new york. -- also, ahat ukrainian businessman who owned condominiums with his daughter at trump international beach report -- resort. you find that in the reports you hung up. >> thank you, mr. pascrell. >> i would like to yield to mr. rene c. >> thank you, mr. paulson. this amazing where
committee has gone. we have gone back to talking about mobsters at privately held companies, which will never show again. tax return after 30 years of practicing, i have never seen a mobsters name. i am never seen a private sleep -- privately held -- these things don't show up on tax returns. request for tax returns, we move from there now to saying for us to do tax reform, we need to see his tax return because he is going to be one of the people who have to approve it. that, you now have put everyone on this committee on record because it we are going to do tax reform, that every member of this committee has to recuse himself for it and we will never get tax reform done because every member of this committee might benefit from some item on tax reform. so we have to be very careful as to where we are pointing fingers. we can't do anything under your scenario because all of a sudden we will have -- and you know, it
is interesting. you shake your head, but mr. pascrell it is exactly right. i said you are shaking your head because you realize i might as well ask for your tax reform -- return so we can see -- >> i already divulged mine. >> mr. -- >> that is where this committee has gone. that is what is amazing. we have moved out to talking about how we need to see people's tax returns to properly do tax reform. we should be able to tax reform for the good of the american people. without looking at your tax return or anyone's tax returns and move forward on that. but i have to chuckle because if you can -- i have already offered. show me where mobsters are on tax returns and privately held companies are listed on tax returns and all the things you just talked
about, i will sign on to your amendment. >> the gentleman yields? >> no. let's sit down and talk about those issues and come up with a way where we can prove those things are -- >> good idea -- >> but you need to pull this resolution today. you need to pull the resolution today so we have time to do it. otherwise, all this is is another journey down the path we will continue one. i yield back my time. >> mr. paulson, you yield back? >> i yield back. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i have listened intently all afternoon and into the evening relative to this debate. it occurs to me that i have been createat the best way to rumors is to withhold information. that in the absence of information, people will create their own.
so i can imagine what the citizens of this country are thinking and trying to figure out. we have heard all of the technical reasons that perhaps the resolution is not in order. we have heard all of the reasons that it is in order. i had some young people in my office and one of them asked the question. the question was, are we supposed to believe what they tell us in school about our elected officials? respect integrity, the and the dignity that we are ,aught about each and every day that people comply with rules and regulations that it has taken years to formulate and to make a part of the public
discourse? the highestou get elected officer of the land with some ofomply those simple requirements? this could get cleared up fairly easily. all the president would have to information, the then we would be in a position to talk about tax reform. we would be in a position to talk about job creation. we would be in a position to put another health bill on the floor. so we would be in a position to talk about all of those relevant things that make sense to the american public. unfortunately, i think this discussion is going to go on and
get some, until we resolution. i support mr. pascrell. for the sickasking -- what a citizen might ask. show us the information, so that we can know what it is we are dealing with. i would yield the balance of my time to mr. -- mr. pascrell. >> thank you, mr. davis. in exchange between representative sort things and richard painter, the former dubya are on the george bush -- under george w. bush. the average person when they file a tax return doesn't have all of these assets and business interests. they may not realize what kind of information they could get from an extended tax return. can you just touch on one more
time, -- for one more time, the very schedules and what they provide in terms of information and how important that is for us to get some assurance with regard to our concerns about the president's conflicts of interests? conflicts of interests are not in the tax returns. you've got to find that stuff. we have reason to believe he may owe his job to vladimir putin. this is what richard painter said. under first of you bush. -- george w. bush. we ought to know if he has financial dealings with the russians, the chinese, with any other foreign governments, with oligarchs in those countries. the schedules i read for the record are very relevant here. most of them focus on flow through taxation. if you own an entity, a corporation, an llc and it does
not separately file a tax return and pay taxes, the profits, the losses, the debt payments, all of those flow through your taxes. the taxpayer. forms would disclose debt payments to those entities. such as the form on information return of u.s. persons with respect to certain foreign corporations. you know what form that is? 5471, take a look at it. or information return of the shareholder, or a passive foreign investment company or qualified electing fund. form 8621. i shall return. thank you. >> mr. lewis, you are recognized. >> a key very much, mr. chairman. a lot of things have been sent today. -- said today. i understand the passion of the
base, the heat of the moment. but i want to be crystal clear for the record. this is not about drama, this is not about data, this is a very real question and it deserves a real answer. if the shoe were on the other foot, we would not be afraid to hold our president's feet to the fire. when we came in for voting, we over dark cloud hanging the capital -- hanging over the city of washington, d.c. does a dark cloud hanging over this nation. we want to know where the president is getting his money.
the american people have a right to know who he is beholden to. the executive branch, as a representative of the american people, we have a right to ask these questions. we have a right to stand up. a right to speak up. a responsibility to support mr. pa girls resolution -- mr. screll's resolution. the american people are asking, "why not?" -- ng so i think mr. >> thank you. hank mr. pascrell.
here is beenoint making is if you own and llc and pass that along on your own tax reform, there are a series of forms to fill out. taxs disclosed through the returns. end of the tax returns do not do it themselves than getting the information those tax reforms would lead to would get information that would relate to the very issue you just raised. i would ask you to include the -- reached. trump's theged mobsters "-- into record. charitable information. fortunately, mr. romney included his charitable foundation. john mccain included his charitable foundation when he ran or office. but all we know about president
trump and his charitable foundation is that he violated the self-dealing rule because of the one narrow form we have. we know the trump foundation reportedly used the charity money to buy a big league, six foot tall painting of mr. trump for $20,000. $12,000 for a football helmet. so we have some information but one would assume along with these personal tax returns we would get the charitable foundation returns. we have a big stake in the work of this committee in that regard and i would yield back so that you can yield to mr. pascrell. grexit mr. -- the average person does not have the ability usually to law. tax reform into he is the soul person in the executive branch of government who can do this.
he should. he should release his tax returns. let me get back to this discussion that mr. chavez was having. annual returns to report transactions with foreign trusts and receipt. form 3520. take a look at the disclosure and see if you have that. specifying financial foreign assets. 8938 -- return of u.s. persons with respect to certain partnerships. 8865. a lot of forms. those are only a few of the many return forms that would divulge the information. why can't we ask to put everything on the table and let the experts look at it and then we determine if it goes public? what is wrong with that? that is our job, our responsibility, we cannot undermine our own responsibility. we have a duty to do what needs to be done.
>> thank you. all-time is expired. would anyone like to strike the word? are there any amendments? if there are no amendments, i will recognize mr. johnson for the purpose of offering a motion. >> mr. chairman, i moved that the committee unfavorably report house resolution 186 two the house of representatives. the question is on recording house resolution 186 unfavorably to the house. all those in favor, signify by saying naye. those not, no. unfavorably reported to the house. roll call is requested. please call the roll.
c-span's washington journal, live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up this morning, new jersey democratic congressman discusses a resolution he initiated directing the treasury secretary to provide the house with president trump's tax returns. louieexas republican gohmert talks about the future of the house freedom caucus. ali breland of the hill will discuss the houseboat on changes to internet privacy rules. be sure to watch c-span's washington journal at 7:00 a.m. eastern this morning and joined the discussion. in case you missed it on coordinatortional for child exploitation prevention during the obama administration. >> i used to think the hardest thing i would do was look into the eyes of a child and listen to her story about being abused.
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this week, this time in our lives. >> treasury secretary steve mnuchin on tax reform. >> the goals of tax reform which are about creating a middle income tax cut, about creating personal tax simplification and making u.s. businesses competitive where we have a very high business tax rate and worldwide income. we are able to take the tax code and redesign things. >> pfizer ceo ian read on for suitable costs. using her medicine on the exchanges because the exchanges don't provide them access. we do need to reform the health care the way it is delivered and the consequences will be motivations. >> scott pruitt on environmental policy. >> there are exciting things going on with clean coal technology. there are things going on in the nuclear space. not here. most of that is in europe because of the disincentives we
put into play here. if you care about some of these environmental concerns, nuclear ought to be in the mix. >> c-span progress are available at c-span.org on our homepage and by searching the video library. pound [gavel pound] >> subcommittee will come to order. without objection, the chair is authorized to declare recesses of the committee at any time. we welcome everyone to today's hearing on restoring enforcement of our nation's immigration laws. the chair recognizes himself for an opening statement. it is fitting that the title of this meeting is restoring our