A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced a measure that would require President Donald Trump and future White House candidates to file their federal income tax returns with the state.
Let’s be clear: This measure is going nowhere this year. The legislative session wraps up with a marathon session Thursday and Republican leaders have little appetite for tweaking the president.
But House Bill 640 gives Democrats – and other Trump skeptics – a bit of red meat to take home with them when they depart the statehouse and return to their districts sometime early Friday.
The measure was introduced by Democratic state Rep. Scott Holcomb and backed by Stacey Abrams, Stacey Evans and other party leaders. It would require candidates for president or vice president to submit their tax returns for three years prior to the election to the Secretary of State’s office.
“I’m doing this to set in place appropriate rules to ensure transparency going forward,” said Holcomb, a DeKalb attorney. “We know D.C. isn’t going to take any action to improve transparency, so it’s up to the states.”
Democrats in the U.S. House are waging a similar battle to demand Trump turn over his tax returns, arguing its important to review the filings to learn about potential business conflicts. They’ve had no traction in a Republican-controlled Congress.
The Georgia legislation also attracted the signature of Republican state Rep. John Pezold, a Columbus restaurateur who said it’s not a partisan issue to him.
“Transparency in government and in our elected leaders has always been a priority for me,” Pezold said, “so signing on this bipartisan bill made sense for me.”