House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters at her weekly press conference Thursday that she’ll release her tax returns when she decides to make a run at the White House.
Pelosi shot back against questions over whether congressional leaders should be held to the same standard as presidential candidates when it comes to releasing their income tax returns.
“When I run for president, you can hold me to that standard,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi said she was indifferent about Mitt Romney’s decision to release his tax returns and said she was focused on helping out of work Americans get back to work.
“This is not important to me,” she said. “The longer [Romney] takes to release [his tax returns] doesn’t make me sad.”
The House’s top Democrat pointed to the growing number of Republicans calling on Romney to release his returns. Pelosi said she believes conservatives want the returns released to clear the air of an potential political damage.
“Let’s not be silly,” she said. “This person is running for president of the United States. His party is calling on him to release his returns. It’s up to him to take the consequences of not doing it, or doing it, but not to deflect it to say, ‘Well, if he has to do it, why doesn’t everybody else have to do it?’ Because everybody else isn’t running for president of the United States, and that’s the last thing I’m going to say about it.”
Debate over the issue intensified following the release of a McClatchy report that showed only 17 of the 535 member of Congress agreed to disclose their returns to the media outlet. Pelosi – who has been at the Democratic forefront in calling on Romney to release his return – was not on that list.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) agreed with Pelosi and rejected the notion that members of Congress should release their tax returns.
“I’ve never released my tax returns. It’s my private business,” Boehner said in his weekly press conference.