House Republicans Are Helping Donald Trump Keep His Tax Returns Secret

House Republicans shot down a Democrat-led effort to release the returns.

House Republicans shot down an effort to finally make President Donald Trump’s tax returns public.

Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) on Monday proposed a resolution to invoke an obscure law allowing the Internal Revenue Service to turn over the president’s tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee for review. But the House voted 229-185, almost exclusively on party lines, to reject the effort.

The House used the law in 2014 during its investigation into the IRS’ treatment of tea party groups.

Pascrell first raised the idea of using the law again earlier this month, but was shot down by the Ways and Means Committee chair, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas).

“If Congress begins to use its powers to rummage around in the tax returns of the president, what prevents Congress from doing the same to average Americans?” Brady told Politico at the time.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) slammed Republicans for blocking efforts to release the documents.

“If there’s nothing there, then what are Republicans afraid of?” she said.

Trump is the first president in modern history to not release his federal tax returns. He blamed the decision on an IRS audit, even though the bureau has said it’s fine for him to release them anyway. He has also said that Americans don’t care about his taxes, a statement that polls have repeatedly disproven.

Demands for Trump to release information about his finances have not gone away since he took office. A White House petition demanding that the returns be made public has received over 1 million signatures.

Democrats have said that the president’s tax returns could help clear up his relationship with Russia following reports that the country meddled in the U.S. election to help Trump win.

Earlier on Monday, reporters asked House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) if Congress would consider issuing a subpoena over the returns.

“No, we’re not gonna do that,” Nunes said.

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