President-elect Donald Trump stands to profit from Republican legislation he is expected to back – including one measure that could save his family at least $4 billion, Politico reports.
The website says the potential for Trump's personal profit raises questions about whether he can separate his financial interest from his public office without cutting ties from his businesses.
Broad tax cuts and eliminating regulations could prove extremely profitable to the incoming president and his family, the website notes.
"It's kind of unprecedented that a president would be proposing tax and regulatory changes that have such a significant benefit to him and his family and presumably his business partners as well," Leslie Samuels, a tax attorney and former senior Clinton administration Treasury official, said. "It's a combination of changes that have a potential for a material benefit of a large magnitude."
The website points out a GOP tax code overhaul is likely to include tax cuts, including one to the top business tax rate. The measure would permit Trump's companies to keep a greater share of profits.
His family would save $4 billion or more if Trump's personal wealth is "in excess of $10 billion" as he has claimed from a repeal of the estate tax – a tax on inheritance that applies to just a small number of the nation's richest families, Politico reports.
Trump has vowed to put in place proper ethical safeguards to eliminate personal conflicts of interest once he takes office. However, his critics have called on him to divest from his businesses and put his assets in a blind trust.
Trump also stands to benefit from other proposed changes, including one that permits looser banking standards that would speed up lending for commercial real estate.
"I don't think the Republican Congress will look for ways to make Donald Trump an unsuccessful businessman," Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., tells Politico. "We're not going to punish him because he won the presidency."
But NPR reports some prominent Republicans are warning Trump he needs to sell his businesses to avoid conflicts of interests.
"Respectfully, you cannot serve the country as president and also own a world-wide business enterprise, without seriously damaging the presidency," says a letter sent Monday by a bipartisan group of politicians, including former New Jersey Republican Gov. Christine Todd Whitman.
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