Vern Buchanan says Congress has better things to do than chase down Donald Trump’s tax returns
Vern Buchanan is the point man on GOP health care initiatives. Image via Twitter.

The Republican could soon control the Ways and Means Committee, which under Democrats published the documents.

The Florida Congressman hoping to lead the House Ways and Means Committee is slamming sitting leaders for releasing Donald Trump’s tax returns.

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, a Longboat Key Republican, said Democrats chose the wrong battle in its yearslong effort for the former President’s private finances.

“Weaponizing the IRS to go after your political opponents sets a dangerous new precedent in this country,” Buchanan said.

The House Ways and Means Committee on Friday published six years worth of Trump’s tax returns. That followed years of fighting for the records in court after Trump in 2015 declined to publicly release his tax records while running for President, the first major party nominee to do so since before the Richard Nixon era.

A Democratic majority fought for the release of the returns. U.S. Don Beyer, a Virginia Democrat and Chair of the Ways and Means Joint Economic Committee, presided over the routine pro forma session in the House. He defended the release as a matter of government transparency.

“We’ve been trying to be very careful to make sure that we weren’t ‘weaponizing’ the IRS returns,” Beyer said.

But Buchanan viewed the move differently. Trump notably announced earlier this year he’s running for President again, making the demand to publish his financial information appear all the more political.

“Releasing President Trump’s tax returns is an extremely slippery slope and would make clear that no American is safe from being targeted for their personal or political beliefs,” Buchanan said.

Notably, Buchanan remains one of the wealthiest members of Congress, and holds the highest net worth of any Representative from Florida in the House. That’s public information thanks to financial disclosures required by every member of Congress. Trump also disclosed many of his financial holdings while President. But elected officials are not required to release their tax returns.

Buchanan’s statements carry particular weight as he makes a play to lead the House Ways and Means Committee himself. A new Congress will be sworn in on Tuesday, one with a Republican majority in the House. Buchanan will be the senior-most Republican on the Ways and Means Committee at that point, and remains in a protracted leadership race to Chair the powerful panel.

Buchanan’s Office did address a question about whether Buchanan as Chair of the committee would pursue audits of Democratic President Joe Biden’s personal finances or push for further audits of his or former Democratic Presidents’ federal income taxes.

But he did suggest there are more important matters for the committee, which handles all policies on taxes and trade, to pursue.

“Instead of attempting to harass the former President, Congress should be focused on restoring growth and prosperity for American families and small businesses,” Buchanan said.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]


  • tom palmer

    December 31, 2022 at 12:25 pm

    There are a lot of important issues that Congress to address. We’ll see how the GOP-led House measures up.
    I’d add that it was President Trump that made his taxes an issue with the claim that he couldn’t do anything about releasing them because of an alleged IRS audit. The coverup is always worse than the crime.

  • James R. Miles

    December 31, 2022 at 1:09 pm

    Under GOP “ideology,” even though all Presidents for a very long time, have revealed their tax returns, Trump is just so GD ‘special’ that he shouldn’t have to reveal his? The GOP, the party of the lawless insurrectionists, has one set of rules for itself and another set of laws for everyone else! F’ that.! I am tired of their double standard. Once again, Trump belongs in jail and no where else!

  • PeterH

    December 31, 2022 at 4:34 pm

    Hi Vern,

    You do not have to investigate anything regarding Trump’s taxes! Not a thing! So sit back and relax in your wingnut stew!

    The House has hired teams of lawyers and accountants to analyze what Trump should have turned over to the public in 2015!


  • Joe Corsin

    January 1, 2023 at 12:50 pm

    There are a lot more important issues than Hunter Biden’s laptop 🤡

Comments are closed.


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