Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) speculated that President Trump's steadfast refusal to release his tax returns will make the upcoming tax reform fight "that much harder." After whiffing on passing a health-care overhaul bill last month, the White House along with Republican congressional leadership have set their sights on tax reform as the next legislative agenda item; the last substantive reform of the nation's tax code occurred in 1986 under former President Ronald Reagan.
"The average American is going to say, 'Oh, he's not doing that because it's good for me, he's doing it because it's good for him,'" Schumer said, per The Washington Post. "For his own good, he ought to make [his tax returns] public. And the big mystery is why he hasn't." Trump refused to disclose his personal tax information during the campaign, saying he was under audit, despite the fact that there is no law that precludes the release of tax returns facing audit.
Last month, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow unveiled a document from Trump's 2005 tax return that revealed the former real estate mogul paid $38 million in federal taxes that year. That revelation followed a report by The New York Times in October that found Trump declared a $916 million loss in 1995 that could have enabled him to avoid paying federal income tax for nearly 20 years; in a subsequent presidential debate, Trump said he "of course" availed himself of tax loopholes to save money.