Democrats Call For Law Requiring Presidential Candidates To Release Financial Records

While Mitt Romney continues to ignore calls to release his tax returns, Democrats in both the House and Senate are trying to make sure future presidential candidates cannot duck their financial past.

Sens. Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Carl Levin (D-MI) promoted their Financial Disclosure to Reduce Tax Haven Abuse Act on the floor today. The bill, introduced in March, would force candidates and their spouses to file a disclosure form listing the identity, value and location of any accounts held in tax havens.

Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI) also announced today his intent to require presidential candidates to make public 10 years of tax returns and disclose overseas accounts. In a press release, Levin directly ties his proposal to Romney:

The stunning lack of transparency from someone in pursuit of the highest office in the country highlights the need to change the law to require fuller disclosure. For decades, presidential candidates have voluntarily provided a thorough accounting of their tax returns and finances, as they should. But we clearly cannot continue to rely solely on the willingness of a candidate to disclose fully what the public has a right to know about the candidate’s financial record.

Besides requiring candidates to release 10 years of tax returns, the legislation would also require the disclosure of the locations, value, and purpose of all offshore accounts, any compensatory arrangements with companies or individuals, investments or holdings, and other assets and activities of any entity in which the candidate has a controlling interest.


Along with public figures including Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX), Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN) and the National Review, 61 percent of independents want Romney to release 12 years of tax returns — the number his father, George Romney, released when he ran for president.