Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Friday rejected a subpoena from House Democrats demanding copies of President Trump’s tax returns, setting the stage for a court battle over the documents.
Mnuchin said the House Ways and Means Committee’s request “lacks a legitimate legislative purpose," citing the legal advice of the Department of Justice, and said he was not authorized to hand over the returns.
“We are unable to provide the requested information in response to the Committee’s subpoena,” Mnuchin wrote. ...
Neal is likely to sue the administration in federal court to enforce the subpoenas, and Mnuchin told a Senate panel he was glad the judiciary would be responsible for mediating the dispute between Congress and the administration.
“A lawsuit is the next step. There’s no negotiation here,” said Steve Rosenthal, an expert at the Tax Policy Center, a non-partisan think-tank.
Neal says that Democrats will likely head into court “as early as next week," which is good. The question, of course, is how long this will drag on after that, and whether there will come a point at which all the stonewalling finally cracks Democratic resistance to an impeachment inquiry. -- gs
Missouri lawmakers have passed a strict antiabortion bill that will criminalize the procedure at eight weeks of pregnancy, following several other conservative states that have approved similar measures.
Missouri’s Republican-controlled House voted 110 to 44 on Friday to pass the bill and send it to Republican Gov. Mike Parson for his approval. Parson, who has vowed to make Missouri “one of the strongest pro-life states in the country,” is expected to sign it into law.
HB 126, known as the “Missouri Stands for the Unborn Act,” would ban abortions before many women know they are pregnant, with no exceptions for rape or incest.
In a little-noticed provision, a woman can get an abortion at up to ten weeks if she travels to the capital building and allows a Republican state legislator to scream “Slut! Whore!” at her until his voice gets tired.
The House passed sweeping legislation Friday to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity after an emotional debate that underscored the divide between the two parties.
Democrats cast the decades-in-the-making move to change the 1964 Civil Rights Act as a historic step to extend protections to LGBTQ Americans, with several gay and bisexual lawmakers emphasizing the need for the bill called the Equality Act.
Republicans warned of the threat to religious freedom and argued that the measure could undermine women’s rights, with men who identify as women taking spots on women’s sports teams and denying them athletics scholarships.
The bill would prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, education, jury service and federal financing, protecting people from being fired or harassed for their sexuality or gender identity.
As Democrats cheered and applauded, the bill passed 236-to-173, with eight Republicans breaking ranks and joining all Democrats in backing the measure. It is unlikely to get a vote in the Republican-led Senate, and the White House has signaled President Trump would veto the measure if it ever reached his desk.
Yes, Republicans are extremely worried about the effect equality might have on women’s rights, because that’s such a big priority for them.
* Ryan Nobles and Konstantin Toropin report that this weekend Bernie Sanders will propose banning for-profit charter schools.
* Nick Miroff and Josh Dawsey report on how Trump’s obsession with the details of his border wall is driving his aides crazy.
* Ron Brownstein examines Joe Biden’s strength with older Democratic voters.