Pascrell Demands Answers on China Currency Manipulation
Letter to Treasury Secretary also decries pattern of indifference and antipathy to congressional oversight
Washington, D.C., July 31, 2020
U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr., a member of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, today wrote to U.S. Treasury Steven Mnuchin calling out the Trump administration’s failure to provide information to Congress on currency manipulation by China and other countries.
“I write to express my dismay with your failure to provide Congress with the statutorily required semi-annual report on whether China or any other country is manipulating its currency,” Pascrell writes. “That report was due April 15, 2020. I request that you provide us it immediately.”
Despite promises to crack down on rampant currency manipulation by the Chinese Communist Party dictatorship, Donald Trump’s tenure has been marked by weak deference and submission to China’s rule-breaking and other atrocities. In addition to raising the currency report, Rep. Pascrell blistered Secretary Mnuchin for his department’s continued pattern of hostility to congressional oversight of Trump regime corruption.
“Since 2017 this administration has ignored its constitutional responsibilities to the detriment of democracy and transparency,” Pascrell writes Mnuchin. “Despite the exhortations of Donald Trump, the chief executive isn’t the only arm of our federal government and is in fact the Article II branch – with Congress the Article I branch. This system of checks and balances has served our nation well for over 240 years.”
Rep. Pascrell has been an unstinting critic of Mnuchin’s tenure at the Treasury Department. On October 29, 2019, Pascrell wrote a letter to Mnuchin blasting him for breaking his own department’s guidelines to grant special favors to a disgraced con artist for a program designed to aid impoverished communities. On February 7, 2020 Pascrell hammered Mnuchin for providing private financial documents of former Vice President Joe Biden’s family to Senate Republicans conducting a frivolous partisan investigation. On March 3, 2020 Pascrell confronted Mnuchin in a tense exchange, telling the Treasury Secretary, “It is impossible to be polite to corruption and people who break the law. And by refusing to turn over Donald Trump’s personal and business tax returns to this committee, I think you’re breaking the law.”
Additionally, Rep. Pascrell has been the leading voice in Congress demanding the release of Trump’s business and personal tax returns, which have been illegally impounded by Mnuchin’s department.
A copy of Rep. Pascrell’s July 31 letter to Mnuchin is available here, the text of which is provided below.
July 31, 2020
Dear Mr. Secretary:
I write to express my dismay with your failure to provide Congress with the statutorily required semi-annual report on whether China or any other country is manipulating its currency. It is impossible to make effective policy without having the requisite data upon which to formulate that policy. That report was due April 15, 2020. I request that you provide us it immediately.
In addition, I am disappointed with your repeated failures to respond to questions both during congressional hearings and the Questions for the Record of our Committee hearings. As popularly elected representatives, Congress has a responsibility to the American people to provide oversight of the executive branch’s policy and implementation of the laws passed by Congress. As a member of a separate, co-equal, branch of government you are obligated to be responsive to inquiries from Members of Congress. Since 2017 this administration has ignored its constitutional responsibilities to the detriment of democracy and transparency.
For example, the Ways and Means Committee continues to await your answers to Questions for the Record of the Ways and Means Committee hearing on the Administration’s FY 2021 budget on March 3, 2020. In particular, my questions on currency manipulation remain outstanding even as the U.S. Commerce Department proceeds with rules and investigations in this area. Without answers to Member’s inquiries, it is difficult to know if whether the actions of the Commerce Department are consistent across the administration and with congressional policy.
Congressional oversight is a crucial element of good government in our democracy, which the Founders in their wisdom established with three co-equal branches of government. Despite the exhortations of Donald Trump, the chief executive isn’t the only arm of our federal government and is in fact the Article II branch – with Congress the Article I branch. This system of checks and balances has served our nation well for over 240 years.
I respectfully, but urgently request that you devote yourself to responding to Congressional inquiries, whether in person in our hearings or in the follow-up questions. I await your prompt response.