House Republicans on Tuesday blocked more attempts by Democrats to obtain President Trump's tax returns from the IRS. House Democrats tried for a third and a fourth time to use procedural votes to pry loose Trump's returns. Republicans blocked both efforts, one on the House floor and the other in the House Ways and Means Committee, the AP reports. The House voted 228-190 on a mostly party-line vote to block the Democrats' effort. The Ways and Means Committee—which has legal authority to obtain confidential tax records—voted 24-16 to oppose the effort.
"To my knowledge, in our committee's entire history, no single individual has ever been targeted in such a manner," said Rep. Kevin Brady, GOP chairman of the committee. "Civil liberties and privacy are still rights worth protecting, and I intend to protect them." Shunning decades of tradition, Trump has steadfastly refused to release his tax returns or to divest from his business. Instead, Trump said he has turned operation of his business over to his sons, while still retaining his stake. "What is he hiding?" asked Democratic Rep. Bill Pascrell. He said Trump's returns would shed light on any potential conflicts of interest. (A leak of part of Trump's 2005 tax return failed to give his critics much ammunition.)