01.26.17

Senator Murray Calls on Andrew Puzder to Release Three Years of Tax Returns, Complete Committee Paperwork

Today in a new letter Murray calls on Puzder, nominee for Secretary of Labor, to provide three years of tax returns to fully understand his past investments and financial transactions

 

With his committee hearing days away, absence of any of the required paperwork from Puzder has raised serious questions

 

Murray to Puzder: “While press has reported that you find the paperwork involved in the nomination process to be burdensome, I hope you will not allow that to interfere with our efforts to ensure a thorough, open, and complete vetting process consistent with what the American people deserve.”—LINK

 

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, called on Andrew Puzder, President Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of Labor, to release three years of tax returns as part of the Committee vetting process and urged Puzder to provide the required Committee paperwork with sufficient time in advance of his nomination hearing, scheduled for February 2nd. With the exception of those announced in the past two weeks, all of President Trump’s Cabinet nominees have submitted the required Committee paperwork.

 

“I write to inquire when the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee might expect to see the required Committee paperwork in advance of your hearing…and to reiterate my request that all of President Trump’s Cabinet nominees provide three years of tax returns as part of the Senate vetting process,” wrote Senator Murray to Puzder. “I urge you to voluntarily provide three years of tax returns to the Committee in order to ensure that the Committee has an opportunity to fully understand the challenges your investments and other financial transactions may present to your coming nomination as Secretary of Labor.”

 

Senator Murray previously urged all of President Trump’s Cabinet nominees to provide three years of tax returns to the relevant Committees. She will offer an amendment to the HELP Committee rules to require that all Cabinet-level nominees provide three years of returns. This request follows current practices and procedures already used by the Senate Finance and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committees.

 

Senator Murray concluded in the letter: “Senate Committees that already require tax returns for nominees in their jurisdiction have found they offer an important tool and provide additional information necessary to thoroughly evaluate whether there may be conflicts of interest between a nominee’s finances and the position to which they have been nominated.  Moreover, the provision of tax returns has, in the past, been offered as an option to nominees coming before the HELP Committee.  In fact, at least three previous cabinet Secretaries have provided tax returns to the Committee as part of the confirmation process.”

 

The full text of the letter is below and HERE:

 

January 26, 2017

Dear Mr. Puzder:

 

I write to inquire when the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee might expect to see the required Committee paperwork in advance of your hearing, which is currently scheduled for Thursday, February 2, 2017, and to reiterate my request that all of President Trump’s Cabinet nominees provide three years of tax returns as part of the Senate vetting process.

 

During our meeting nearly three weeks ago, on January 5, 2017, you assured me your paperwork was already complete and that you expected it to arrive by the end of that week. Unfortunately, the HELP Committee is still waiting. While press has reported that you find the paperwork involved in the nomination process to be burdensome, I hope you will not allow that to interfere with our efforts to ensure a thorough, open, and complete vetting process consistent with what the American people deserve.

 

President Trump announced his intent to nominate you to be the Secretary of Labor on December 8, almost seven weeks ago.  With the exception of those announced in the past two weeks, every other cabinet nominee has submitted the required Committee paperwork. In addition, I have not received word from the White House regarding the completion of your FBI background investigation. I am concerned that the absence of your paperwork at this late stage may impede the Committee’s ability to perform a thorough review. 

 

Additionally, last month I called on all of President-elect Trump’s Cabinet nominees to provide three years of tax returns as part of the Senate vetting process. Consistent with this request, I urge you to voluntarily provide three years of tax returns to the Committee in order to ensure that the Committee has an opportunity to fully understand the challenges your investments and other financial transactions may present to your coming nomination as Secretary of Labor. 

 

Senate Committees that already require tax returns for nominees in their jurisdiction have found they offer an important tool and provide additional information necessary to thoroughly evaluate whether there may be conflicts of interest between a nominee’s finances and the position to which they have been nominated.  Moreover, the provision of tax returns has, in the past, been offered as an option to nominees coming before the HELP Committee.  In fact, at least three previous cabinet Secretaries have provided tax returns to the Committee as part of the confirmation process.

 

When the HELP Committee meets to organize for the 115th Congress, I will offer an amendment to the HELP Committee rules to require that all Cabinet-level nominees provide three years of returns.  Such information would of course be handled in strictest confidence with procedures and safeguards already used by the Senate Finance and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committees.

 

Thank you for your attention to this matter. If you have any questions, or would like to further discuss compliance with this request please contact Beth Stein, HELP Committee General Counsel, at 202-224-3254.

 

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