Once again, there is a push for Congress to be exempt from what they demand of others. But this time it isn’t an onerous health care plan.
A summary of the bill is available online and gives a quick look at what is included in the 571-page legislation. Maryland’s Democratic Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md.is the lead author of the bill, as well as the chairman of the Democracy Reform Task Force.
CNBC reported that Sarbannes said in a statement that “Once we clean up Washington and get special interests out of the way, we can get to work on a whole host of important issues that Americans care about.” However, from the items specified in the bill’s summary, it appears more like it is about addressing the Democrats’ “special interests.”
One glaring example of that is found in Title X – Presidential Transparency. In the summary, it reads simply as “Requires sitting presidents and vice presidents, as well as candidates for the presidency and vice presidency, to release their tax returns.”
Forcing President Donald Trump to release his tax returns was a talking point used in the 2018 mid-term elections by Democrats. Of note is the fact that Congress is not held to the same standard.
There is nothing in the bill summary indicating any mandate that candidates for Congress release their tax returns. Members of Congress are sometimes held in suspicion by the American public over the fact that a number of them become millionaires while serving in office, despite insufficient government pay to accomplish such a thing.
This would make the exemption for themselves appear a bit suspicious. That is on top of the fact that it is another example of them exempting themselves from something they force onto others.
This exemption for themselves reflects an unwilligness to be transparent about their own finances display in 2017. When they were calling for Trump to release his tax returns, Roll Call asked them for theirs, reported CNS News.
All 535 members of both the House and the Senate were given the request. Six members complied and an additional 6 already had released their returns prior to the request.
On top of that, 45 members of Congress already had at least partially released their returns. This leaves 473 who did not release their returns either before or after the request.
Not surprisingly, now-Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused to release her tax returns. She is also the same member of Congress who introduced the bill in question to force President Trump to release his.
The introduction in the summary of the bill speaks of transparency and the House Democrats being “ready to deliver on that promise.” The transparency talking point is something Pelosi reiterated recently to MSNBC:
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) January 5, 2019
But where is her personal transparency in regards to her own tax returns? Where is the transparency from the House democrats as a whole, in regards to this bill exempting them from releasing their tax returns?
With a Republican majority in the Senate, the bill, which is rife with Democratic talking points, may not pass. But the fact that the Democrats saw fit to spend time creating the 571-page virtue signal rather than address current issues such as the government shut down says something about them that Americans may not appreciate at all.