U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) announced today that she has added a new feature to the "Sunlight Report" on her Senate website by posting her personal tax returns online for every year she has held elected office, and will continue this practice in all future years. Gillibrand believes strongly that giving citizens the ability to see what their representatives are doing in Washington and providing access to information is the right thing to do. In 2006, she was the first member of Congress in history to post her official daily schedule, all federal earmark requests and personal financial disclosure report on her website -- a policy she has continued in the Senate, and was referred to at the time by a major national newspaper as, "a quiet touch of revolution." Members of Congress are not required to release their tax returns, and only a small fraction of members choose to voluntarily disclose their tax returns to their constituents. Gillibrand now becomes the first member of the Senate to post tax returns for every year in elected office directly to her own website.
Gillibrand has been a leading champion in Congress for increasing government accountability and transparency. She earned national media coverage earlier this year as an architect in the passing of a major bipartisan reform package signed into law by President Obama. The STOCK Act was called the "most substantial debate on congressional ethics in nearly five years." Gillibrand is also one of only 11 U.S. Senators who voluntarily filed her campaign's FEC report online last quarter, has sponsored legislation to make it easier to see who is giving money to politicians, and has taken on her own party to end automatic pay raises for Congress.
"I have always placed a top priority on finding new ways to increase the accessibility, transparency and accountability of government because it's the right thing to do," said Senator Gillibrand. "Whether by passing legislation to ban any insider trading by members of Congress, or leading by example through posting my schedule and financial information to my website, New Yorkers deserve to know their interests are my only interests. I will always look for new ways to further my commitment to transparency."