Senate Finance Committee Delays Vote on Rettig
The vote was postponed amidst turmoil between GOP, Democrats
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) postponed a vote on President Donald Trump’s nominee to helm the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) after Democrats protested the administration’s decision earlier this week to scrap donor disclosure requirements for most nonprofits.
Hatch said the committee will reconvene and vote later today, once he is assured that enough committee Republicans show up to vote on Charles Rettig’s nomination.
Rettig’s nomination was viewed as relatively noncontroversial, and he is still likely to be confirmed by the Senate. Finance Committee Democrats, however, view the Trump administration’s decision to end donor disclosure requirements for certain tax-exempt groups as an attack on transparency in electioneering activities.
“The Trump administration has taken a qualified nominee and dumped him right in the middle of a dark-money political firestorm of their own creation,” said Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR). “As a result, this nomination is no longer an isolated debate that can begin without context.”
Wyden said he would need to hear from Rettig on whether tax-exempts should have to disclose big-money contributors and called for President Trump to disclose his tax returns and assure the public he has no financial connections to Russia or other conflicts of interest. Democrats could formally hold Rettig’s nomination from getting a floor vote but it’s unclear if they will take it that far.
Hatch said the new IRS policy is “commendable” for many reasons, including the fact that taxpayer data has been subject to security breaches numerous times as a result of the previous policy.
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