September 4, 2018 / 9:37 PM / 22 days ago

Trump can expect tax, conflict probes if Democrats take House: Hoyer

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump can expect congressional investigations of his tax returns and possible conflicts of interest if Democrats take control of the U.S. House of Representatives in November’s elections, a top Democrat said on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump walks on the South Lawn of the White House upon his return from Bedminster, New Jersey, to Washington, U.S., August 19, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Representative Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 House Democrat, in remarks to reporters stopped short of saying Democrats would spearhead a move to impeach Trump, staying in line with most Democrats’ reluctance to make such a threat.

An Aug. 26-29 ABC News-Washington Post poll found that 52 percent of registered voters surveyed would back the Democratic candidate in their congressional districts, with 38 percent saying they would support the Republican.

Congressional elections will occur on Nov. 6, with all 435 House seats and 35 of the 100 Senate seats up for grabs.

FILE PHOTO: House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) takes questions from reporters on immigration legislation and the Trump tax cuts during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center in Washington, U.S., on June 22, 2018. REUTERS/Toya Sarno Jordan

Democrats need a net gain of at least 23 seats in the 435-member House to win a majority.

As a presidential candidate and as president, Trump has broken with tradition and refused to make public his tax returns. Hoyer said House panels will demand those documents “to make sure the president is not operating on his own benefit as opposed to the public’s benefit.”

He said the executive branch departments would get closer scrutiny and added that Republicans, who control the House and the Senate, were “not meeting their oversight responsibilities.”

For example, if Democrats take the House, Representative Bobby Scott of Virginia would take over as chairman of a committee overseeing the Department of Education and wants tough oversight of it, Hoyer said.

He said Democrats’ legislative agenda would focus on job retraining, infrastructure, healthcare and lowering drug prices.

Republicans are campaigning to hold power, pointing to their accomplishments, including last year’s passage of deficit-financed tax cuts, a rollback of federal regulations and the installation of more conservative judges.

Reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Dan Grebler

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