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特朗普富人内阁入职第一关:财务审查

更新时间:2016-12-14 20:15:16 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Donald Trump’s Wealthy Cabinet Picks to Undergo Financial Scrutiny He Didn’t Face
特朗普富人内阁入职第一关:财务审查

WASHINGTON — For the billionaires, the multimillionaires and the plain well-off people whom President-elect Donald J. Trump is choosing for his cabinet, the first step to office will be the sort of grilling he didn’t face — on potential business conflicts of interest and, for some, tax returns — courtesy of the Senate sleuths who have taken their toll in the past.

华盛顿——对于被候任总统唐纳德·J·特朗普(Donald J. Trump)选中加入其内阁的亿万富翁、千万富翁和普通的有钱人来说,入职的第一步将是候任总统本人不曾经历的那种盘查——针对潜在的商业利益冲突,对有些人来说,还需要提交纳税申报表。这些工作将由参议院的调查人员进行,他们过去否决过一些人选。

President Obama’s first Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, was nearly derailed in 2009. His first choice for secretary of health and human services, Tom Daschle, did not make it through that year.

2009年,奥巴马总统的第一任财政部长蒂莫西·F·盖特纳(Timothy F. Geithner)就差点被刷掉。他最初选择担任卫生与公共服务部长的人选汤姆·达施勒(Tom Daschle)则没能通过审核。

Now the billionaires Betsy DeVos, Linda McMahon and Wilbur L. Ross Jr., and the multimillionaires Rex W. Tillerson, Ben Carson, Elaine Chao, Steven Mnuchin, Representative Tom Price, Andrew F. Puzder and Todd Ricketts can expect much of the same scrutiny.

现在,亿万富翁贝茜·德沃斯(Betsy DeVos)、琳达·麦克马洪(Linda McMahon)、小威尔伯·L·罗斯(Wilbur L. Ross Jr.),百万富翁雷克斯·W·蒂勒森(Rex W. Tillerson)、本·卡森(Ben Carson)、赵小兰(Elaine Chao)、史蒂文·努钦(Steven Mnuchin),以及国会议员汤姆·普赖斯(Tom Price)、安德鲁·F·普兹代尔(Andrew F. Puzder) 和托德·里基茨(Todd Ricketts)都要经历大致同样的审核。

“With the president-elect flouting a 40-year bipartisan tradition of disclosure and transparency, we think it’s more important than ever to ensure that senior officials across government aren’t operating under a different tax code than everyone else,” warned Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, the senior Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, which has upended its share of nominees.

“考虑到候任总统无视两党40年来一直延续的信息披露与透明传统,我认为,比以往任何时候都更加重要的是得确保整个政府的高层官员没有采取与其他人不同的税法,”参议院财政委员会(Senate Finance Committee)高层民主党人、俄勒冈参议员罗恩·怀登(Ron Wyden)说。这个委员会杯葛过不少提名人。

After nearly two centuries in which Senate reviews were cursory at best, that confirmation process has become increasingly arduous, regardless of party, and especially in the committees that require nominees’ tax returns.

之前的近200年时间里,参议院审核充其量不过是走走过场,但如今这个确认程序变得越来越严格,不管哪个党都是如此,尤其是在需要提名人提供纳税申报表的委员会。

Dean Zerbe, a former counsel to the Finance Committee, had some advice for Mr. Trump’s nominees facing that panel: Do not copy the president-elect’s defiance on disclosure. “The committee will say, ‘Bless your heart. Now send us your tax returns,’” Mr. Zerbe said.

对于面临审核的特朗普提名人,前参议院财政委员会法律顾问迪安·泽布(Dean Zerbe)提供了一些建议:不要像候任总统一样藐视信息披露传统。“委员会会说,‘哎呀,把你的纳税申报表交上来,’”泽布说。

Senate Democrats will be pressing in January to make the scrutiny even broader. They propose that all committees make nominees privately submit their three most recent federal tax returns. Three committees — Finance, Budget, and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs — already do so. Together they have responsibility for examining five cabinet-level officials before confirmation: the secretaries of Treasury, health and human services, and homeland security, and the president’s trade representative and budget director.

民主党参议员会在明年1月施压,将审核范围进一步扩大。他们提议所有的委员会都要让提名人私下提交三份最近申报的联邦纳税申报表。有三个委员会已经提出了这样的要求,它们分别是财政、预算和国土安全及政府事务委员会。他们共同负责在确认提名之前对5名内阁级别官员的资格进行审查:财政部、卫生与公共服务部和国土安全部的部长,以及总统的贸易代表和预算主管。

For Democrats, the tax-disclosure proposal is a way to underscore Mr. Trump’s refusal to release his returns, despite a four-decade tradition of presidential candidates doing so. More to the point, they will have ample opportunity to press home their contention that a number of his cabinet choices have wealth and backgrounds at odds with his populist pitch.

对民主党人来说,税务信息披露提议是强调特朗普拒绝披露纳税申报表的一种方式,尽管提供这些报表是一项延续40年的传统,各届总统候选人都是这么做的。更关键的是,他们有足够多的机会极力主张自己的观点,即不少内阁候选人拥有和他们的民粹主义宣传相矛盾的财富和背景。

“He is building an administration that looks a whole lot like himself,” said Senator Patty Murray of Washington, the senior Democrat on the committee that will handle the nominations of Ms. DeVos, who married into the Amway fortune, as education secretary, and Mr. Puzder, a fast-food executive, to be labor secretary.

“他在组建一个与他自己极其相似的政府,”华盛顿州民主党参议员帕蒂·默里(Patty Murray)说道。她所在的委员会将负责处理教育部长德沃斯和劳工部长普兹代尔的提名,前者嫁入了安利(Amway)家族,后者是快餐企业高管。

Those nominations will go to a committee that has not previously required nominees to file tax returns along with other financial disclosures. So will those of Mr. Tillerson, chief executive of Exxon Mobil; Mr. Ross, an investment titan chosen for secretary of commerce; Mr. Trump’s choice for deputy commerce secretary, Mr. Ricketts, the heir to the Ameritrade fortune; the pick for transportation secretary, Ms. Chao, a wealthy former labor secretary and the wife of the majority leader, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky; Mr. Carson, a retired neurosurgeon; and Ms. McMahon, a billionaire professional wrestling impresario, who was picked to lead the Small Business Administration.

上述提名将经过一个此前不曾要求提名人提交纳税申报表和披露其他财务信息的委员会审核。以下提名同样如此:埃克森美孚(Exxon Mobil)首席执行官蒂勒森的提名;被选中担任商务部长的投资界巨头罗斯;被特朗普任命为商务部副部长的Ameritrade企业继承人里基茨;富有的交通部长人选赵小兰——曾经担任过劳工部长,丈夫是参议院多数党领袖、肯塔基州参议员米奇·麦康奈尔(Mitch McConnell);退休神经外科医生卡森;被选中领导小企业管理局(Small Business Administration)的职业摔跤经理人、亿万富翁麦克马洪。

The Finance Committee chairman, Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah, has served notice that Trump nominees “will undergo the same bipartisan vetting process as the nominees from previous administrations,” and will not get a public hearing until the committee staff’s private examination — including a review of the nominees’ tax returns from the past three years — is complete.

参议院财政委员会主席、犹他州共和党参议员奥林·G·哈奇(Orrin G. Hatch)声称,特朗普的提名人“将经历和此前各届政府提名人同样的两党审核程序”,而且要在委员会工作人员的闭门考察结束后才会举行公开的听证会。这项考察包括查阅提名人过去三年的纳税申报表。

The Finance Committee considers nominees to three cabinet-level offices (Treasury, trade, and health and human services), while other committees have jurisdiction over one or two. So far Mr. Trump has made his selections for two of the three spots: Mr. Price, Republican of Georgia and an orthopedic surgeon, to be secretary of health and human services; and Mr. Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs partner turned hedge fund operator and Hollywood financier, to be Treasury secretary.

财政委员会负责三名内阁级官员(财政、贸易和卫生与公共服务)的审核,其他委员会负责对一人或两人的资格审查。截至目前,特朗普已经为这三个职位中的两个确定了人选:由乔治亚州共和党人、整形外科医生普赖斯担任卫生与公共服务部部长;之前为高盛(Goldman Sachs)合伙人、现为对冲基金操盘手和好莱坞影片投资人的努钦担任财政部长。

For the very wealthy Mr. Mnuchin especially, the multipage questionnaire that the Finance Committee uses for its review illustrates the hoops a nominee must jump through to pass muster. It includes listing all jobs held since college, all business relationships, political activities and contributions, any legal or ethics issues, and a precise accounting of financial net worth for the nominee, a spouse and dependents. Nominees must answer whether they have paid all local, state and federal taxes, including those for household employees — a common tripwire.

财政委员会给极为富有的努钦特别提供了长达数页的调查表,对他进行审核,这份调查表形象地说明了一位提名人要获得通过必须经受的考验。其中需要列出他自大学毕业后所有的工作经历、商业关系、政治活动和捐赠,包括所有法律和伦理议题,还要求提供该提名人自己、配偶及家属的详细财务净资产账目。提名人必须回答他们是否缴纳了地方、州和联邦的所有税款,包括为家庭雇员缴纳的税款——有不少人会被这一条绊住。

To gauge potential conflicts of interest, the questionnaire also asks for “any investments, obligations, liabilities or other relationships” and any business dealings and lobbying activities in the past 10 years that could be problems, as well as for an explanation of how those potential conflicts will be resolved. Separate opinions are required from both the federal Office of Government Ethics and the ethics officer of the agency a nominee would lead.

为了判定是否存在潜在利益冲突,调查表也会询问提名人在过去十年里是否有“任何投资、债券、负债或其他利益关系”,以及是否有什么可能存在问题的商业交易和游说活动,还要求提名人解释自己会如何解决这些潜在冲突。此外,还需要分别取得政府道德事务办公室(Office of Government Ethics)和提名人将领导的机构的伦理官的意见。

Even as Mr. Trump resists a complete break with his far-flung businesses, a nominee before the Finance Committee must answer whether he or she, if confirmed, will “sever all connections with your present employers, business firms, associations or organizations.” If not, the nominee must provide details of how those connections will be handled.

尽管特朗普拒绝与他涉及范围颇广的业务彻底切断联系,一个接受财政委员会审查的提名人必须回答他或她在提名确认之后是否会“切断与目前的雇主,所在的商业公司、协会或机构的所有联系”。如果答案是否定的,这名提名人就必须提供详细的信息,说明自己会如何处理这些关系。

The questionnaire must be notarized — providing false answers is potentially a federal crime — and the nominee’s tax returns attached. The documents are not made public, though information may come out in hearings or be leaked, often by senators. Neither Mr. Daschle’s nor Mr. Geithner’s tax returns were made public, but their offenses were widely aired.

调查表必须进行公证——因为提供虚假答案是一项潜在的联邦罪行——还要附上提名人的联邦申报表。这些文件不会公开,尽管有些信息可能会在听证会上——往往是被参议员——提及或泄露。达施勒和盖特纳都没有公开自己的纳税申报表,但他们的违规行为却被广泛传播开来。

When Senate aides discover problems, a nominee is given a choice: Agree to a public report on the infraction and pay all taxes, penalties and interest, or quietly withdraw.

如果参议院的助手们发现了问题,提名人有权进行选择:要么向公众报告其违规行为并缴纳所有税款、罚金和利息,要么默默退出该职位的竞争。

“Those are the not-very-attractive options a nominee was given,” said Mark Patterson, a Democrat who was the staff director for the Finance Committee in the late 1990s and the chief of staff at the Treasury Department from 2009 to 2013.

“这两个选择对提名人都不太具有吸引力,”曾在上世纪90年代末担任参议院财政委员会办公室主管、2009-2013年间担任财政部办公室主管的民主党人马克·帕特森(Mark Patterson)说道。

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