Byron York: Republican Key House on the withdrawal of the dismissal proceedings of Pelosi: "I do not buy it."


Representative Kevin Brady is the Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee. As president in 2017, he has put in place tax cuts that remain the main legislative achievement of President Trump. Now, it discusses the role that ways and means could play in a possible impeachment of Trump. (This is the only House committee authorized by law to require the President's tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service, and Democrats are currently taking steps to do so.)

Brady and I discussed the committee's role in Trump's investigations during a conversation for a new podcast on Tuesday morning, but we began by announcing that President Nancy Pelosi had spoken out (mainly) against the impeachment . Pelosi told the Washington Post that the indictment is simply a source of contention for the country, unless motives that are "so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan" do not warrant it.

Brady does not believe her. "Respectfully, I do not buy it," he says. The reason, he explained, is not that he doubts Pelosi's feelings. It is that he doubts his ability to impose his will on Democrats in the House.

"The President, although she controls the House, does not control her own party," Brady said. "And there is a real rush to impeachment in the House. [Judiciary Committee chairman] Jerry Nadler, we see it with the inquiry committees, we see it with the committee of ways and means. "

Brady pointed to recent moments when the democratic opposition forced Pelosi to give up his personal positions. "The President did not impose it, her party forced her to do it, she did not want to weaken the resolution on anti-Semitism, her party forced her to do it. She's not for Medicare for all, she says her party forces her to do it. "

Indeed, although no one knows the deepest feelings of every Democratic member, there is no doubt that Democratic voters, those who have sent the current class to Congress, are strongly in favor of impeachment. In polls at the end of mid-term elections last November, 77 percent of Democrats said "Yes" to the question "Should Congress overturn Trump?"

"She is trying to tamp down this for political purposes, as she was before the elections," Brady said. "But his lecture just seems unyielding on this race to destitution."

With respect to the president's tax returns, it was reported that Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal had asked committee staff to prepare a request for returns. The move could occur at any time, triggering what should be a legal battle if the administration refuses to hand them over.

"Democrats, in my opinion, if they use the tax code as a firearm, they will create a dangerous precedent where future congresses can do the same – draw up a list of enemies and pursue them" said Brady. "It's not a question of whether a chairman has to disclose his income tax returns as part of his candidacy, you may feel that there is a difference of opinion on this issue, and should the Congress abuse its power to seize a citizen's tax returns. "

Brady acknowledged that minority Republicans had no power to stop the movement. All it takes is a simple letter to the Treasury to say, "I want to see these tax returns," he said.

Brady went on to discuss a little-known policy of the IRS requiring that the tax returns of the president and vice president be audited annually. (Excerpt from the IRS Handbook: "The personal income tax returns of the President and Vice President are subject to mandatory examinations.") This provision means that Trump is already the subject of a close examination, said Brady.

"The president and the vice president are audited every year by the IRS," he said. "These returns, if there is a problem, there is both a criminal investigation unit within the IRS, and of course the FBI and the special advocate there also have access, so I think that [the House demanding the returns] is exactly the wrong thing to do. "

But that's what the Democrats seem ready to do. Brady said he and Neal had "generally" discussed the tax return issue, but no details. If – when – Democrats go ahead, wait for Brady and his Republican colleagues to protest. But they can not do anything about it.


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