GOP senator plans to introduce bill requiring candidates to release tax returns

Source: The Hill | September 12, 2018 | Emily Birnbaum

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) said he plans to introduce an ethics reform bill requiring presidential and vice presidential candidates to release their tax returns.

Sasse on Wednesday said President Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns, a break from longstanding tradition, has soured public trust in Washington.

“There are things about the tax returns provision [of the bill] that have been a norm of American politics for decades,” Sasse, a frequent critic of Trump, said on CNN. “It’s never been a law but everybody has always done it. This is the first time it hasn’t happened.”

“The president’s said he would release them once he got the nomination, and then once he got elected,” Sasse continued. “I think there’s a lot of distrust. We should release them.” 

Sasse will introduce a five-part ethics bill on Thursday aimed at “draining the swamp,” he said.

The bill will ban Cabinet officials and their spouses from soliciting foreign donations, an apparent swipe at the Clinton Foundation, which accepted millions of dollars from foreign governments while Hillary Clinton was secretary of State. 

Other provisions in the bill include creating a database of human resources settlements for members of Congress and banning lawmakers from making money as lobbyists after they leave office. 

“There are five different bills I’m going introduce tomorrow and I think a lot of them are going to make everybody mad,” Sasse, a frequent critic of both parties, continued.

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