WASHINGTON, D.C.—Democracy Forward invoked the little-known Information Quality Act (“IQA”) to file a petition with the Department of the Treasury (“Treasury”) demanding the agency correct, within 60 days, unreliable and misleading statements issued by Secretary Steven Mnuchin and another senior Treasury official regarding the impact of President Trump’s tax proposal.
The petition alleges that the Trump Administration violated the IQA by asserting that the average American household would benefit by “$4,000–9,000” under President Trump’s tax proposal and that “70 percent” of the corporate tax burden falls on American workers. Both claims lack credible justification, and the 70 percent figure has even been refuted by Treasury’s own analysis.
Under the IQA, federal agencies are required to provide accurate, reliable, and unbiased information to the public. Information must meet an even stricter quality standard if it has a “substantial impact…on major public and private policy decisions as they relate to Federal financial issues.” In the petition, Democracy Forward demanded Treasury comply with these requirements and correct unreliable and misleading statements by government officials.
“The Trump administration is trying to hide the fact that its tax plan will overwhelmingly benefit the wealthy and well-connected,” said Democracy Forward Executive Director Anne Harkavy. “The public deserves reliable information from the government about how the Administration’s policies will affect their wallets, not a stream of half-truths from government officials aimed at selling policies that hurt working Americans.”
The letter was submitted to Treasury on November 13, 2017. Under current IQA guidelines, Treasury has 60 days to comply with the request for correction.
Democracy Forward is a nonprofit legal organization that scrutinizes Executive Branch activity across policy areas, represents clients in litigation to challenge unlawful actions, and educates the public when the White House or federal agencies break the law.
December 7, 2018