Senators’ Tax Code Input Will Be Kept Under Wraps for 50 Years

The suggestions of Senators on which credits and deductions to keep in a streamlined tax code will be kept secret until 2064. OpenTheGovernment.org joined Taxpayers for Common Sense and 29 other groups to urge the Senate Finance Committee to keep tax reform in the public eye.

Under procedures set by the Committee, suggestions from Senators would be kept secret for longer than even Presidential records, and released to the public in an unattributed format. According to The Hill, the secrecy assuages concerns of many Senators who fear their recommendations, made in the interests of “fervent backers back home” may make them appear beholden to special interests.

CNN Money reported that the secrecy is intended as a protectant against pressure from outside interests. Transparency and public accountability, not secrecy, should be employed to address concerns that elected officials may be unduly swayed by special interests. 

The House Ways and Means Committee made lawmakers’ and outside interests submissions public. The Senate should follow the House Committee’s lead and reform the tax code in a transparent and accountable manner. The public has a right to know what their senators are advocating for so they may hold all their congressional representatives accountable.

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