Tags: Trump Administration | Democrats | Rex Tillerson | Tax | Returns

Democrat Senators Demanding Tillerson's Tax Returns

Image: Democrat Senators Demanding Tillerson's Tax Returns

 (AP)

By    |   Saturday, 24 Dec 2016 10:02 AM

Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee are pushing for three years of Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson's tax returns, even though he is not required to hand over that information as part of his confirmation process.

Tillerson, as chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil Corp., is expected to face some of the most intense scrutiny from lawmakers, mainly over his business ties with Russia and his associations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, reports The Wall Street Journal

"He has never made public disclosures of this type, as he has worked at Exxon for his entire career and has never been in public service, Sen. Ben Cardin, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, wrote in a letter to other panel Democrats Thursday. "Mr. Tillerson was actively engaged with many foreign governments that could become relevant if confirmed as Secretary of State. The Senate has a responsibility to review all relevant documents during the confirmation process.'

Senate rules do require some cabinet picks to submit their tax returns, including those nominated for Treasury, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services. But Democrats said they need tax returns for Tillerson and others President-elect Donald Trump has named because they have never held government jobs.

In addition to Tillerson, Trump has picked several other wealthy business people for his cabinet, including former Goldman Sachs partner Steven Mnuchin for Treasury and Betty DeVos, a charter-school advocate picked for Education.

Mnuchin has turned over his tax returns to the Senate Finance Committee, the group considering his nomination. Mnuchin's tax records will not be made public, but he will be required to submit a financial disclosure form that will be available.

Tillerson's pay from Exxon has been disclosed in company securities filings for more than a decade, and show he made about $27 million last year. In addition, the company board is still determining whether to grant him the more than $175 million he was to receive when he planned his retirement in 2017 at the age of 65.

Chairman Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, though is protesting the Democrats' demands, issuing a statement saying his committee will use the same procedures for Tillerson that it has used for other nominees "since well before I joined the committee 10 years ago."

Trump has come under fire for refusing to release his own tax information, saying he'll do that after a routine Internal Revenue Service audit has been completed.

Democrats will not have formal power to block Tillerson or other Trump picks, following a 2013 rules change that eliminated the use of filibusters against presidential nominees. However, procedural tactics could slow down the hearings.

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Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee are pushing for three years of Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson's tax returns, even though he is not required to hand over that information as part of his confirmation process.
Democrats, Rex Tillerson, Tax, Returns
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2016-02-24
Saturday, 24 Dec 2016 10:02 AM
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