House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi pushed back hard when pressed about releasing her tax returns, after urging Mitt Romney to be transparent and release tax returns to verify his tenure at Bain Capital.
Correspondents at the briefing asked Pelosi if she believes it’s appropriate for leaders of the house and members to release their tax returns and why she assumes the standards are different for members of Congress than presidential candidates.
Pelosi fired back.
“In terms of tax returns, maybe they should all be made public—maybe it should be a public function what do you think of that—for everybody—for everybody that writes about it, for everybody who hires people who write about it—for corporate ownership of the media and what are they doing as far as taxes are concerned."
Congressional representatives are blatantly reluctant about releasing the sort of information they’re demanding from Mitt Romney. A mere 17 out of the 535 members of Congress released their most recent tax forms or provided some similar documentation of their tax liabilities and just 19 of them flatly refused, while the rest didn’t bother to respond at all.
“Why are we taking the focus away from the person at hand?" Pelosi asked while she tried to change the subject to tax cuts for the middle class. "The person has decided that they want to run for president of the United States? A tradition that was honored by this person’s father. Now this is not important to me –what’s important to me is jobs and the rest."
Congressional Democrats latest effort is a bill introduced in the House by Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI) to require presidential candidates to release ten years’ worth of tax returns.
The Constitution includes no legal requirement for a candidate running for presidential office to release tax returns and changing the requirements in the middle of a presidential race is shady. Tax forms are completed with an understanding of privacy between the taxpayer and the Internal Revenue Service.
“Are you concerned the focus on tax releases are at all a distraction and whether Obama could be a drag on the ticket for House Democrats?” a correspondent asked.
“It show across the board in terms of the race, is it’s a dead even race," Pelosi said “Everybody else is not running for president of the United states and that’s the last thing I am going to say about it. "
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