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List of the 19 States that Introduced Tax Returns Release Bill Governing Presidential Candidates

The California State Legislature recently passed Senate Bill 27, which requires presidential candidates of any political party to publicly disclose their tax returns in order to qualify for inclusion in California’s official ballot.

The bill, if approved by California Governor Gavin Newson, will require Donald Trump and any Democratic presidential nominee in the forthcoming 2020 General election and every four years thereafter, to make public their most recent tax returns for a 5-year period.

Actually, this is the second time that the bill entitled as the “Presidential Tax Transparency and Accountability Act”, originally introduced by Senator Mike McGuire (Dem-Healdsburg) in 2017, had passed the California State Legislature. The first time though, the bill was vetoed by former California Governor Jerry Brown, who himself did not submit his tax returns for public scrutiny.

This time, approval of said legislation lies in the hands of incumbent California Governor Gavin Newson, who submitted six (6) years of his previous tax returns when he ran for governor. It is widely expected therefore that Governor Newson will affix his signature to signify approval of the bill’s official enactment as a state law.

The 2017 proposal was amended to broaden coverage by including future gubernatorial candidates. Moreover, the amended bill has an urgency clause that will see to its implementation ahead of the deadline for filing of candidacy for the 2020 Presidential Election.

The greater significance of California’s Senate Bill 27, otherwise known as the “Presidential Tax Transparency and Accountability Act” is that California is only one of the 19 states in which legislators had proposed the same legislation. Although, there are some variations to what a state requires or includes on who else will be required, what else are required and how their tax information will be made public.

In giving justification to California’s Senate Bill 27, Senator Scott Wiener (Dem-San Francisco) said

“Voters should have confidence that their president is working for them and not to enrich himself or herself.” “Making public the tax return of a candidate gives voters that confidence and builds trust.’

 

In the event that the other 18 states follow suit and succeed in enacting such a law, Donald Trump can either file a lawsuit in every state to challenge each legislation, or make it less costly, by simply releasing his tax returns before the deadline for filing of candidacy for the 2020 presidential election. Otherwise, he will not be included in the official ballot of every state that has enacted such a law.

Below is a complete list of the 19 states that have introduced or have pending legislation aimed at enacting a law that will require presidential, vice presidential and/or gubernatorial candidates to release previous income tax returns. The roster qualifies as an all time list, because whether or not the proposed bills are enacted, they will always be regarded as significant aspects of America’s political history.

List of the 19 States that Introduced a Bill Requiring Presidential Candidates to Release Tax Returns 

(Source: National Conference of State Legislatures-NCSL)

  1. California
  2. Connecticut
  3. Delaware
  4. Hawaii
  5. Illinois
  6. Maryland
  7. Minnesota
  8. Mississippi
  9. New Hampshire
  10. New Mexico
  11. New Jersey
  12. New York
  13. North Carolina
  14. Oregon
  15. Pennsylvania
  16. Rhode Island
  17. Vermont
  18. Virginia
  19. Washington

(Source:National Conference of State Legislatures-NCSL

Health National Politics

Health Care Still a Key Political Issue as Trends Show Rise in Degenerative Diseases not Only Among Seniors

Health Care plans of Democratic aspirants for the 2020 presidential nomination is being highlighted, as the issue of medical care still poses as the most important consideration among voters. Degenerative disorders occurring in the spine now account as one of the leading medical issues, to which a great part of Medicare benefits have been used in recent years.

However, the Medicare system in the U.S. is applicable only to senior citizens aged 65 and above; leaving many older adults outside of the Medicare benefits. Notwithstanding that the current trend in the prevalence of degenerative spinal disorders among Americans, also affects those in the prime stage of their work age.

Inasmuch as this article delves mainly on the health care programs being promised by those aiming to replace Donald Trump, readers can proceed to the CTSI website where they can find comprehensive information about degenerative spinal conditions and their treatments.

The glaring reality revealed by recent health care research is that to date, almost 30 million Americans lack, or do not have health insurance at all. Those that do have private insurance policies, are saddled with prohibitive costs not included in their coverage.

Many consider the U.S. healthcare system as problematic, which is why majority of the voters are looking for solutions. This was evidenced by the results of the recent Gallup poll, which showed that health care plans of political candidates were rated as either “extremely” or “very important” in their voting decision.

That being the case, this article takes a cursory look at what the Democratic presidential candidates have so far, put forward as health care promise. After all, this particular issue may prove crucial in unseating incumbent U.S. president Donald Trump:

Health Care Plans of Top Democratic Presidential Aspirants

Medicare-for-all is a popular rallying cry among the Democratic candidates. Except for Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has not been vocal about health care programs as an agenda in her political campaign. Nonetheless, since Senator Warren has co-sponsored Senator Bernie Sanders’ Medicare-for-all proposal, it is presumed that Ms Warren will endorse such bill during her presidency, if ever.

Former Vice President Joe Biden as well, has not mentioned health care plans as extensively as his opponents have been doing. Still, his view of health care reform for the U.S,. is to let everyone have a choice of buying a private insurance coverage, or of buying a Medicare-like plan.

Senator Bernie Sanders presents himself as the staunchest supporter of the Medicare-for-all plan, being the principal author of a bill proposing it as health care reform. He made it clear that his proposal will totally eliminate private insurance, because all eligible U.S. residents will be enrolled in a government-administered health care program. Specifically, Senator Sanders says,

“People who have healthcare under Medicare-for-all will have no premiums, no copayments, no deductibles, and no out-of-pocket expenses.” “Although they will pay more in taxes, they will have to pay less in healthcare for what they get,”

Senator Kamala Harris is also co-sponsor to Senator Sanders’ Medicare-for-all plan, but also suggests including private insurance as supplementary coverage. Ms. Harris’ stance though is viewed as middle ground, since she has co-sponsored other health care reforms, including proposals of buying into Medicaid and to lowering Medicare eligibility age to 50 years old.

Southbend Mayor Pete Buttigieg voiced his support for the Medicare-for-all proposal, whilst also stating that his preference for a public option that places private insurance, only as a supplemental choice.

Immigration News

Trump Temporarily Suspends ICE Immigration Crackdown at House Speaker Pelosis’s Request

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents all set to land in different states to arrest undocumented immigrants on Sunday, will have to postpone their massive deportation operations for two weeks.

Many condemn the planned action as heartless, which entails separating undocumented immigrants from their U.S. born children. In fact, not a few city officials, local mayors, and even police agencies throughout the country intends to refuse giving the ICE people their cooperation.

Sanctuary cities contend that the sweeping raid, which was supposed to have simultaneously taken place in at least ten (10) major cities, targeted 2000 undocumented immigrants particularly those with chidren born in the U.S.

House Speaker Pelosi Calls on Trump to Call Off ICE Raids

Aware that Donald Trump Is using the ICE immigration raids to force the House of Representatives to give in to the anti-immigartion president’ s will and proposed policies on immigration, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi carried on with a diplomatic move by calling up Trump.

Via a phone conversation, Ms. Pelosi put forward a request for president Trump to call off the deportation actions targeting about 2000 undocumented immigrants; most of whom will be separated from their families.

Although Trump initially offered a weak, we-will-see reply to Speaker Pelosi’s request, the U.S. president later emerged on Saturday to announce that the ICE crackdown will be temporarily suspended for two weeks.

He mentioned in his tweet that the suspension was made at the behest of Speaker Pelosi, but cited the delay as time for the House Democrats to discuss border solutions and thereafter pass a border bill.

 

Ms. Pelosi gave her response also by way of tweet addressed to president Trump,stating that they welcome the delay, time being necessary in order to come up with a comprehensive bill on immigration reform. Still, Ms. Pelosi asserted that

“Families belong together.”

National Politics

Atty. Gen Barr Initiated Contempt Citation, Partisan Politics or Not

Attorney General William Barr’s refusal to attend the House Judiciary Committee Hearing last Thursday (May 02, 2019) has posed as challenge to the house committee’s ability to conduct hearings. In light of Barr’s no-show at the scheduled proceedings, a resolution to hold Atty. General Barr in contempt of Congress has been passed and approved 24-16 by members of the House Judiciary Committee.

Although partisan politics is being touted as the root of the lightning speed by which the contempt citation was processed, it should be noted that Atty. Gen. Barr initiated the citation by not appearing in a Democrat-dominated hearing,

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler stated that the Trump administration and its supporters are brazenly hiding the misdeeds uncovered by Special Counsel Mueller, asserting that

…”on this committee we will represent the American people and ensure the truth is known.”

The Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings issued a statement, to express his view regarding the Trump Administration’s attempt to stonewall further investigations of the facts uncovered by Mueller’s investigating team:

“If
we do not put brakes on what is happening in our country, we will no longer have a democracy,” “We are being blocked every which way from getting information. We are also being blocked from having access to members of the administration.”

This includes president Trump’s act of invoking his executive privilege to block the release of a full, unredacted version of the Mueller report, hours before the contempt citation went into voting.

How Republican Judiciary Committee Members Voted

All 16 Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee, excluding one absent Republican representative, voted against the resolution to hold Atty. Barr in contempt.

Top Republican member of the Judiciary Committee, Representative Doug Collins asserted that Democrats are actually angry with Mueller, because the latter did not provide them with a clear road map toward a presidential impeachment. Calling the contempt citation a

“craven and insincere politics that seem to be yielding no benefits for the American people.”

The committee-approved citation resolution is yet to move on for a full House voting process. Once approved, it would launch a criminal referral to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, to decide on Barr’s contempt action.

In a related report, more than 500 former officials of the Justice Department signed an open letter branding as criminal, Trump’s actions as described in the Mueller Report.