Democrats in the House of Representatives introduced House Resolution 1, aka HR1, after regaining their majority in January and are billing it as a comprehensive ethics reform package. Republicans however see it as thinly veiled political attack and an attempt to target their supporters. On Thursday, the Ways & Means Subcomittee on Oversight began to consider the portion of the bill as it relates to the President’s personal tax returns. Debate is likely to continue in the coming weeks despite the bill lacking support in the Senate.
Yes, It’s Wide-Ranging Goals Would Shift Influence
To say HR1 is ambitious may be an understatement – the bill proposes massive changes to campaign financing, disclosure requirements, and voter registration. Among the noteworthy proposals are a 6x campaign donation matching program for small dollar donors (ex. a campaign contribution of $100 would be matched with $600 of public funds), required 10 year tax disclosure for Presidential candidates, and automatic voter registration; all proposals which would seem to favor Democrat candidates.
No, It’s An Attack On Free Speech And A Power Grab
Critics argue that HR1 amounts to an attack on free speech and states’ rights. Not only will it regulate how individuals contribute to nonprofit charities, which accounts for 3% of political spending, it will turn voter registration into a federally regulated issue instead of being left to the states.
Either Way Trump Is In The Crosshairs
The required disclosure of Presidential tax returns is a direct extension of Democrat’s desire to see President Trump’s tax returns, which Congressional panels are unlikely to obtain using their established powers.