Comstock will do anything to avoid voting on investigating Trump’s taxes.
Washington, DC| Last night Congresswoman Barbara Comstock tweeted this picture of herself meeting with a pack of Loudon Boy Scouts, whom she gave a tour of the Capitol building. She tweeted this at 7:58 PM, before the House had even adjourned for the night, which they did after 9:00 PM.
A vigilant follower quickly responded,
That’s a good question! Let’s dig in, shall we? (Don’t worry, this won’t take long).
If you look at the clock in the background of her meeting with the Boy Scouts, you’ll see that she was in the process of meeting with them at 3:25 PM. This makes sense, because according to the yesterday’s Clerk’s record of House proceedings, the House was on recess from 2:09 PM – 4:30 PM. Whatever your feelings are on Barbara, I think there’s one thing we can all agree on: she wastes no minutes in squeezing in photo-ops.
Where were we? Oh yes, we’re trying to answer #SpreadTruth’s question. According to the House Clerk, at 7:28 PM, Barbara Comstock voted along with 228 of her GOP colleagues to kill Rep. Pascrell’s Intent to Offer a Resolution to request President Trump’s tax returns. Not a single Republican voted for this Resolution to be considered on its merits. Rather, they used obscure parliamentary tactics to keep it off the floor, by determining that it the Res. did “not constitute a question of the privileges of the House.” When Pascrell appealed this ruling by the Chair, Republicans moved for and voted to table it.
To say the least, Democrats were incensed. VA-10th’s Congressional neighbors, Rep. Don Beyer and Rep. Gerry Connolly had this to say:
Perhaps the best response came from House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, who stated, “Tonight, House Republicans made themselves accomplices to hiding President Trump’s tax returns from the American people.”
Well, GOP, what do you have to say for yourselves? What spin can you possibly put on this decision to not seek Trump’s tax returns? Especially keeping in mind that submitting tax returns has been a tradition, even if voluntary, “that has been practiced by every president since Harry Truman, with the exception of Gerald Ford,” according to the Washington Post and so many others.
The GOP’s rebuttal, according to The Hill: “…House GOP chairmen have been cool about the idea of seeking Trump’s tax returns. When House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) was asked earlier Monday if he would subpoena Trump’s returns, he said, “No, we’re not going to do that.” When asked for their rationale, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) explained, “My belief is that if Congress begins to use its powers to rummage around in the tax returns of a president, what prevents Congress from doing the same to average Americans,” he said.
Another attempt is being made to obtain documents from the Department of Justice to address Trump’s potential conflicts of interests and business ties. This Resolution, introduced by Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), is being considered for mark-up by the House Judiciary Committee the morning. According to The Hill, Republican leaders are expected to vote against it. Read H. Res. 111.
If this Resolution fails to make it out of Committee today, then Rep. Comstock can breathe a sigh of relief that she won’t be forced to vote on it. At this point, it is unclear how much she has been feeling the pressure from her constituents, who have kept up a steady drum-beat in calling for investigations into Trump’s conflicts of interests. Watch the House Judiciary Committee Mark-up LIVE:
When she conducted her most recent tele-Town Hall, she allowed someone to ask her about her support for an investigation into Trump’s possible ties to Russia. This was a good softball question for her to answer, because it allowed her to showcase her role as a “co-sponsor of the Russian sanction review act which is bipartisan and bicameral, stating that Russian sanctions cannot be lifted.”
Refusing to lift sanctions against Russia, however, is nothing akin to an investigation into Trump’s tax returns, which could potentially expose conflicts of interest. A gentleman at the citizen-led Town Hall for Comstock (which she declined to attend) had a much better question:
“We don’t have any kind of window into what the Trump organization’s ties are – he hasn’t disclosed any information. Why didn’t anybody look into that? Because it is going to be a matter of national security. There are other Muslim-majority countries that were not included in the Muslim immigration ban – and he has business interests in those countries. Is this being checked by real National Security people? What are you doing about this?”
Read a transcript of all questions, here: constituent-led-town-hall-questions-asked-no-names
To answer your question, Sir, the answer is Nothing. Unless you consider the act of avoiding a full floor vote on the investigation to be something. Then, the answer is, Quite A Lot.
I guess we’ll have to rely on Rachel Maddow to investigate Trump’s conflicts. Make sure to watch this segment to the end: