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Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin sent a letter to House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) Tuesday informing him that the Treasury Department will decide by May 6 whether to release President Trump's tax returns to Congress — effectively ignoring the April 23 deadline that Neal had set.

"Due to the serious constitutional questions raised by this request and the serious consequences that a resolution of those questions could have for taxpayer privacy, the Department is consulting with the Department of Justice. Although federal law establishes no deadline for a response to your request, we expect to provide the Committee with a final decision by May 6, after receiving the Justice Department's legal conclusions."

The big picture: In the past few days, the Trump administration has taken a number of steps to block oversight by House Democrats, or — as the president and his defenders have labeled it — "presidential harassment."

  • On Monday, Trump and the Trump Organization sued House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings in an attempt to block Cummings' subpoena of Trump's longtime accountant, Mazars USA LLP.
  • Also on Monday, White House directed former security clearance official Carl Kline not to comply with an Oversight subpoena. Cummings is now moving to hold Kline in contempt of Congress.
  • And as the Washington Post reported Tuesday, the administration also plans on fighting a House Judiciary subpoena of former White House counsel Don McGahn.

Go deeper

UNC race conscious admissions process upheld by judge

Students walk through the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Aug. 18, 2020 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Photo: Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill can continue its race conscious admissions process, a federal judge ruled on Monday.

Why it matters: The case could end up in the Supreme Court after the conservative nonprofit Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) vowed to appeal the judge's ruling that UNC didn't discriminate against against white and Asian American applicants in its policy that it said was designed to increase diversity.

SEC debunks conspiracy theories about meme stock mania

Photo: Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The SEC issued its long-awaited report on the meme stock mania, which downplayed the narrative that a "short squeeze" was the primary driver behind GameStop's historic stock moves — and shot down conspiracy theories about the event.

Why it matters: The postmortem was highly anticipated, largely because of what it could hint about what the regulator thinks should be done in wake of the saga. But the report stopped short of specific policy recommendations.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Breaking Biden's diplomatic logjam

Expand chart
Data: Center for Presidential Transition via Congress.gov; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

The logjam for reviewing and confirming President Biden's ambassadorial picks is finally starting to break.

Why it matters: Biden is far behind his predecessors in the rate at which his ambassadorial picks have been confirmed. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a series of high-profile hearings and votes this week to finally begin chipping away at the backlog.

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