New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, is expected to sign the legislation.
New York Democrats have positioned the legislation as a way to hold the President accountable, despite his refusal to follow presidential precedent by releasing his federal returns. Trump still holds New York residency and his businesses are mostly headquartered there.
“I don’t know what’s in the tax returns. I don’t know what Congress wants to see in the tax returns. But I do know this: that Congress has a role here in overseeing the executive and it’s our responsibility as New Yorkers and legislators to make sure that happens,” New York state Sen. Brad Hoylman said Wednesday.
He added: “We’re on the precipice of a constitutional showdown between two branches of our federal government. We as New Yorkers can step into that breach and help solve this problem.”
“The New York State Legislature has stepped up to promote transparency while the US Treasury Department has instead denied lawful requests for tax records from the House of Representatives,” Assemblyman David Buchwald, the lead sponsor of the bill, said in a statement Wednesday. “Our state and federal governments have endured for over 200 years thanks to the system of checks and balances provided in our Constitution, and this bill is consistent with that tradition.”
Assemblyman Andy Goodell, a Republican who opposes both bills, said the Assembly should instead focus on the state’s job climate, tax burden, and opioid problems.
“We will spend a significant amount of time today on an issue that doesn’t address any of the most serious issues facing New Yorkers,” Goodell said in an interview with CNN. “Releasing New York State only tax returns to federal legislators who have no role in writing the NY State tax law at all, who don’t come from NY state but come from around the nation serves absolutely no legitimate legislative purpose.”
The New York state Senate passed its own version of the bill earlier this month.
“This President and his administration have repeatedly shown a true hostility to the rule of law and Presidential customs,” the state Senate’s top Democrat, Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, told CNN in a statement when the state Senate passed the bill. “No person is above the law and New Yorkers, as well as all Americans, deserve transparency from their elected officials at every level of government.”