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House Ways and Means Committee chairman Richard Neal. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

House Ways and Means Committee chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) formally asked the IRS on Wednesday to turn over 6 years of President Donald Trump's tax returns.

The big picture: This request could potentially trigger a court battle, per the New York Times. The long-awaited move comes as House Democratic committee leaders have issued subpoenas as part of a series of investigations into the president and his inner circle.

Details: Neal cited a little-known IRS code that gives only the chairs of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee the power to request tax documents from anyone, per the Times.

  • Neal has also requested the tax returns of Trump’s trust and seven business entities, including his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
  • The IRS has until April 10 to comply with the request. If Neal gets the information, he will privately review it with his committee staff.

In response to the request, Trump told reporters: "Is that all? We are under audit, despite what people said, and working that out. I'm always under audit, it seems, but I've been under audit for many years because the numbers are big, and I guess when you have a name, you're audited. But until such time as I'm not under audit, I would not be inclined to do it."

Go deeper: Democrats slow-walk request for Trump tax returns, fearing court battle

Go deeper

Pelosi, Schumer call on McConnell to adopt bipartisan $900B stimulus framework

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Nov. 20. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to use a $908 billion bipartisan coronavirus relief framework as a basis for jumpstarting negotiations.

Why it matters: The framework, introduced by a group of bipartisan senators on Tuesday, calls for significantly less funding than Pelosi had previously demanded — a sign that Democrats are ready to further compromise as millions of Americans endure economic hardship.

Democrat Mark Kelly sworn in to U.S. Senate

Photo: Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

Astronaut Mark Kelly (D) was sworn in to the U.S. Senate on Wednesday after defeating incumbent Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) last month for the seat once held by the late Sen. John McCain.

Why it matters: Kelly's swearing-in by Vice President Mike Pence narrows the Republican majority and moves the Senate balance to 52-48.

Senate Armed Services chair dismisses Trump threat to veto defense bill

Sen. Jim Inhofe. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told reporters Wednesday that he plans to move ahead with a crucial defense-spending bill without provisions that would eliminate tech industry protections, defying a veto threat from President Trump.

Why it matters: Inhofe's public rebuke signals that the Senate could have enough Republican backing to override a potential veto from Trump, who has demanded that the $740 billion National Defense Authorization Act repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.