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Rep. Gabbard: Need for Transparency Transcends Party Lines

“Regardless of your party or political beliefs, the need for transparency is an issue that unites us all. Let’s continue our work to ensure our government remains of, by and for the people.” – U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard

Saturday’s Tax March brought out thousands around the country demanding President Trump release his tax returns on April 18, Tax Day.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) is cosponsoring HR305, a bill that would require presidents to release federal income tax returns for the three most recent taxable years. Presidents have historically voluntarily released their tax returns to the public, but this bill would require it by law.

The bill also establishes civil and criminal penalties for failing to file or falsifying these income tax returns. The bill is sponsored largely by Democrats, but a few Republicans have signed on as well, including Justin Amash (R-MI), who is known for not always toeing the party line.

Gabbard recently signed a Discharge Petition that would force House Republicans to bring the bill to the House floor for a vote.

Rep. Gabbard explains:

“Every president has a duty to put the interests of the American people first and foremost, and the American people deserve to know whether allegiance to special interests or undue foreign influence might be interfering with that duty.”

An argument can be made that Gabbard’s support of this bill is not simply motivated by petty partisanship. She is known for working across the aisle, and often speaks out contrary to the national narrative, angering members of her own party.

For instance, Gabbard’s statements in response to the Syrian chemical weapon’s attack and subsequent airstrikes received rebuke from Republicans and Democrats alike. Gabbard demanded more evidence that Assad was indeed responsible for the attack, and spoke out against the strike on Assad’s airfield causing some Democrats to go so far as to call her unfit to serve in Congress.

With tax day drawing to a close, it appears that Trump has yet again resisted public calls for his tax returns. Rep. Gabbard appears determined to not let a lack of transparency become the norm.

Image Source: Flickr / Tulsi Gabbard