Stephanie Akin

Roll Call Reporters Asked Members of Congress To Release Their Tax Returns. Here’s What They Found
 

Throughout last year’s election and continuing into 2017, Democrats and Republicans alike have called for President Donald Trump to release his tax returns. Members of Congress, however, have not faced such pressure to disclose their tax information. Roll Call reporters Stephanie Akin and Sean McMinn set out to answer this question: how many members of Congress will release their own tax returns?

What Voters Can Learn From Tax Returns
Tax returns and annual financial disclosures contain different information

Candidates and members of Congress are required by law to file personal financial disclosures that are designed to shed a light on their potential conflicts of interest.

These documents show a lawmakers' assets and liabilities, reported in broad ranges. Tax returns, in contrast, provide snapshots of their annual net income, are subject to audit and require taxpayers to report specific amounts.

In Tax Return Secrecy, Congress Unites
What some lawmakers said when we asked for copies of their returns

No matter what their political affiliation, members of Congress have this in common: They don’t like releasing their tax returns. Only 37 of the 532 members of the House and Senate responded when Roll Call asked for copies of their tax returns over several weeks, starting in April. Most of them declined to release their tax returns.

Here are some of their responses.

Lawmakers Want Trump’s Tax Returns, but Won’t Release Their Own
Only a handful willing to release documents to Roll Call

Rep. Ben Ray Luján — like many in Congress — wants President Donald Trump to release his tax returns.

Transparency, the New Mexico Democrat said recently in a Facebook post, “is a cornerstone of democracy.”

Scalise, Shot at Baseball Practice, Known as Behind-the-Scenes Mover
Republican Whip has been credited with moving signature bills, working with Trump

On the Hill, Rep. Steve Scalise works behind the scenes to convince other Republicans to line up behind his Party’s agenda.

But on the baseball field during the annual Congressional game, he plays up the middle: He’s the second baseman.

Trump Is Not a Liar, White House Spokeswoman Says
Administration punches back at Comey’s assertion

By STEPHANIE AKIN and JOHN T. BENNETTUpdated 1:51 p.m. The White House wasted no time in hitting back at former FBI Director James B. Comey’s assertion Thursday that President Donald Trump lied to the American people.

“No. I can definitely say the president is not a liar,” Principal Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters. “And, I think it’s, frankly, insulting that that question would be asked.”

Trump Mum on Comey, but Donald Jr. Chimes In
First son is tweeting responses to Comey hearing

President Donald Trump has yet to offer a reaction to explosive testimony from former FBI director James B. Comey before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday. But his son has now chimed in, using an expletive to describe Comey’s account.

“Flynn stuff is BS,” Donald Trump Jr. wrote, referring to Comey’s allegation that the president tried to coerce him, during a one-on-one meeting, to drop an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Trump Twitter Feed Still Mum on Comey Testimony
Anticipate live-Tweet attack yet to materialize

There’s only one thing more highly anticipated in Washington than what former FBI Director James Comey will say Thursday during his first public appearance since President Trump fired him.

It’s what — and if — the president will tweet.

Foster Youth Rub Shoulders With Lawmakers, Bring Change
More than 100 come to the Hill for annual congressional shadow day

Michael Rogalski spent five years living in foster care. Rep. Karen Bass has been trying to improve the system longer than he has been alive.

So when Rogalski, 27, arrived at Bass’s office Wednesday morning — among more than 100 former foster youth to shadow members of Congress that day — he told her he just wanted to watch and learn.

How We Got Here: A Timeline of How Comey Went from Chief to Ousted
 

Former FBI chief James B. Comey was abruptly fired by President Trump, adding even more scrutiny to the agency's probe of Russian meddling in last year's election. How did we get here? Check out our video timeline of the events leading up to Comey's ouster....
Looming Questions, Few Answers, About Who Will Replace Comey
Ouster of FBI director prompts flurry of speculation about replacement

The ouster of FBI Director James B. Comey prompted a flurry of speculation Wednesday about who could be named as his replacement.

Projections for potential candidates included Trump confidantes, Capitol Hill insiders and career investigators. But there were no clear answers about who might fill the post.

King Suggests Senate Hire Comey to Lead Russia Probe
‘This issue is just going to dog them for years,’ Maine independent senator says

Maine independent Sen. Angus King said Wednesday morning that he had a new job in mind for fired FBI Director James Comey: Leading an independent investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and any possible collusion with people connected to the Trump administration. 

Timeline: Comey’s Journey from Clinton Investigation to Unemployment
President Donald Trump fires FBI director

Former FBI Director James B. Comey is a central figure in the investigations into scandals surrounding the 2016 presidential campaign and the Trump administration, a role that has heightened since he was abruptly fired in May.

His unusual choice to announce, just a week and a half before Election Day, that the FBI had reopened its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server is widely believed to have impacted the course of the election.

New Calls for Public Access to Secret Congressional Reports
Privacy policy at Congressional Research Service full of holes, critics say

The secrecy surrounding Congress’ in-house think tank came under fire again Wednesday, with transparency advocates on and off the Hill renewing calls for free public access to its in-depth policy briefs. 

Rep. Leonard Lance, a New Jersey Republican, and Mike Quigley, an Illinois Democrat, reintroduced a bill the same day that would require all the reports produced by the Congressional Research Service to be published on a government website.

Spending Plan Includes Reassurance for Legal Pot
Prohibition on interfering with state laws extended to September

Businesses selling marijuana in states where it is legal just got some reassurance from Congress that they don’t have to worry about a federal crackdown anytime soon.

The spending bill that will keep the government open until September includes the extension of a policy that prohibits the Department of Justice from using federal money to interfere with states’ medical marijuana laws.

Chaffetz and Cummings: Flynn Might Have Illegally Accepted Payments from Russia
Oversight Committee could use subpoena power to compel White House to comply with investigation

Report: Chaffetz Might Leave Congress Early
Statement comes after Oversight Committee chairman announced he would not run in 2018

Jason Chaffetz said Thursday that he could leave Congress before the end of his term in 2018, Utah radio station KSL reported.

The comment comes in the wake of the Utah Republican’s surprise announcement on Wednesday that he would not run for reelection, or any other office, in 2018.

D.C. Home Rule Advocates to Continue Fight After Chaffetz Retirement Announcement
Others on Oversight Committee may be targeted next

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s announcement that he will retire from Congress at the end of 2018 has made some folks in Washington, D.C., very happy.

Advocates for District of Columbia sovereignty see Chaffetz, the chairman of the powerful House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, as one of their biggest tormentors. The Republican lawmaker especially riled local groups to action by attempting to exercise the committee’s authority to overturn D.C. laws under the Home Rule Act, long a sore spot for District residents.

Foreign Influence in the U.S. Cloaked in Unnecessary Obscurity, Watchdog Groups Say
Outdated technology creates roadblocks to basic research on Americans lobbying for foreign governments

Want to know how much money a foreign government has spent to lobby members of Congress? How many times a lawmaker met with a lobbyist representing a foreign government? What if that person made a political donation on the same day?

Good luck finding the answers from the federal office charged with tracking American citizens who get paid to represent foreign interests in the U.S.

Dems to Trump: Now Let’s Talk About Refugees
Air strikes alone can’t mitigate humanitarian disaster, Democrats say

Democrats who were quick to express support for the American air strikes in Syria followed up Friday with a warning that the Trump administration cannot hope to fully address the humanitarian disaster without reassessing its intolerance toward refugees.

“The President said that images of slaughtered Syrian children contributed to his decision to take military action,” said California Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris. “That should also compel the Administration to rethink its misguided refugee policy and open our doors to the children and families fleeing ongoing violence and oppression in Syria and elsewhere.”