Illinois lawmakers want to require any presidential candidate to turn over five years worth of tax returns to get on the ballot, despite constitutional questions.
State Sen. Tony Muñoz said his legislation would require any candidate for president or vice president to give Illinois officials their last five years of tax returns.
“If you’ve got nothing to hide, then you shouldn’t worry about anything,” he said. “If you want to run for vice president or President of the United States, hey, what’s wrong with providing your tax returns for the last five years.”
Sen. Dale Righter said the bill was a poorly-veiled shot at President Donald Trump. He said that candidates for other offices, like governor or U.S. Senator, should have the same requirements.
“This is, quite frankly with all due respect to the sponsor, an embarrassing waste of the Senate’s time,” he said. “This is being pushed by a far leftist organization out of the city of Chicago that wants to be able to get up and chirp about the President of the United States.”
Identical bills have been filed in other states. It’s a coordinated effort led by Indivisible, an activist group that fights for progressive policies and works to elect politicians who support such policies.
Trump didn’t release his tax returns before the election. He said he couldn’t release his tax returns because he was being audited. The U.S. House of Representatives has formally requested to see Trump’s tax information, but he has sought to block the request via a lawsuit.
The U.S. Constitution states that a presidential candidate must be at least 35 years old, a resident of the United States for 14 years and a natural born citizen. Most presidential candidates in the past forty years have voluntarily released their tax returns.