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"We didn't want the government shut down the first time", he said in a Bloomberg Television interview.

The Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight will meet to hear testimony from a slate of experts on tax law, including a 1924 measure that allows the chairman of the exclusive tax-writing panel to privately examine anyone's tax returns.

Asked specifically whether he plans to make Trump's tax returns a top priority, Jeffries responded with a different list of legislative goals like lowering health care costs, introducing an infrastructure plan and "cleaning up corruption". Their newly energized leftward wing is pushing Neal to set the quest in motion, and fast.

Participants said they expect the pact to end up well below the $5.7 billion that Trump has sought to begin construction of the wall, which has attained iconic significance for him and his conservative supporters.

"A strong case is being built", William Tranghese, an aide to Neal, told The Associated Press this week. "That said, we're not going to overreach, we're not going to overinvestigate, we're not going to overpoliticize our constitutional responsibilities".

Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby of Alabama said the session on Thursday (Friday NZ time) in the Oval Office was "the most positive meeting I've had in a long time", and that the president was "very reasonable". "I thought we learned a lesson about the politicization of the IRS when Nixon was President and that is why 6103 was passed, so what are the Democrats doing trying to use the IRS as a political tool?"

But Republicans maintained a steady theme: that obtaining Trump's tax returns is both unnecessary and sets a unsafe precedent. It could take years to resolve, possibly stretching beyond the 2020 presidential election. Trump himself has fluctuated in describing what he envisions, from the 30-foot high concrete wall he promised during the campaign that Mexico would pay for, to more recently discussing a steel slat design.

Republican lawmaker Mike Kelly argued the move would set a risky precedent, saying "an abuse of power would open a Pandora's box that would be tough to get a lid back on". "It would set a very unsafe precedent".

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has made clear that she is prepared to respect, even defend, the rule of law.

Kearney returns from injury for Scotland clash
That gave Scotland a 5m lineout, but Peter O'Mahony got up and slapped the ball back and Rory Best put it down. He said after the game: "It happens to him because he is who he is, that's going to happen".

A refusal to provide the tax returns would be "uncharted territory", said George K. Yin, a professor at the University of Virginia School of Law and former chief of staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation. First, Trump targeted House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-California, who announced Wednesday that the committee would investigate alleged financial crimes involving Trump's businesses. Neal, of MA, has delegated the task to his oversight subcommittee, which holds its first hearing Thursday on the matter.

The presidential tax return legislation House Democrats want is part of a 571-page election reform bill, the "For the People Act," also known as House Resolution 1. An official told the news outlet that the culprit was probably not appointed by the president and is likely to be a career government White House employee, although no evidence have been offered to support these claims.

It's unclear exactly what would happen if Democrats were to head down that path, though the Trump administration has been gearing up for a legal fight.

Down Pennsylvania Avenue at the Capitol, the mood among negotiators was distinctly upbeat, with participants in the talks between the Democratic- controlled House and Republican-held Senate predicting a deal could come as early as this weekend.

During the campaign he asserted the returns couldn't be released while he was under audit, and after the vote his administration said he wouldn't release them because Americans elected him without seeing the returns.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin "will review any request with the Treasury general counsel for legality", the department has said.

The practice of unilaterally releasing tax returns would set a risky precedent eroding our most basic privacy rights.

Rep Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., said Thursday that "the level of disclosure varies widely" among the presidents from Ford to Obama who did release their returns.