"Where does it end?" "How do we protect our borders and yet do it in a way that respects our values as Americans; that we treat people humanely, particularly asylum seekers, people who are coming here?"
"There is no end in sight for those whose tax information may be in jeopardy", Kelly said. "Every single American has the right to privacy". It would require the president and vice president to release 10 years of tax returns.
Four Trump administration sources have told Politico that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin could block the tax returns' release on the grounds that Democrats would be unable to prevent someone from leaking them, which would be a felony.
"I'd suspect that Bob Mueller and his team are looking at that already", said Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI), who sits on the Ways and Means Committee, "and hopefully it's part of a report that is submitted to us shortly".
Illinois Republican Rep. Darin LaHood blasted the effort by Democrats as a "waste of time and energy and resources" of the committee, arguing such a step was unprecedented especially while a sitting president was undergoing an independent investigation by the special counsel's office. "I'm not optimistic, but I'm hopeful", he said.
"We'll see what the hearing comes out with, but I would expect at some point in time we're going to ask for the president's tax returns", Hoyer predicted. Earlier in the day, Trump had said the House's multiplying inquiries into him, his business and his administration constituted "presidential harassment".
Joe Thorndike, director of the Tax History Project, expressed concern that such a refusal could break a historical record that has lasted over four decades.
"They didn't say what we're going to talk about, but I'm sure this topic is going to come up", Cuellar said, adding that Mulvaney is a "good man" who he can get along with.
Namely, the House Ways and Means Committee can request the tax documents of the president or anyone else for confidential review. And they discussed the authority under current law for the head of the House Ways and Means Committee - now Democratic Rep. Richard Neal - to make a written request for any tax returns to the Treasury secretary.
Despite the newfound optimism, Trump continues to threaten to declare a national emergency to circumvent Congress and secure border wall funding if lawmakers fail to reach a deal he can stomach.
Democrats say they want to see Trump's returns to be sure he's complying with tax laws, to examine his financial connections overseas, and find out to whom he owes money.
The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee has said he plans to request Trump's returns using IRS code 6103, a provision that Democrats say allows the chairman of the House Ways and Means committee to request Trump's tax returns. (Glimpses into leaked tax information obtained by the New York Times showed Trump claimed operating losses of $916 million in 1995, which would have protected him for up to 18 years' worth of taxes.) It's by no means certain that Trump's personal returns would answer any of those questions.
"I think it's very important to do", he said. A Republican's wall may be seen as fencing by a Democrat. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said during the 2016 race. "It's just as wrong (as) if Nixon were doing it".
All of this is good news, of course, and it seems to be yet another sign that Republicans on Capitol Hill most definitely don't want to see a replay of the five-week shutdown that paralyzed the government and much of Washington from December 22nd until almost the end of January. "If we can work within some of the parameters that we talked about today, that we'll keep to ourselves right now, I think he would sign it".