Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has publicly admitted that she is skirting congressional financial disclosure rules.
On Aug. 13, Ocasio-Cortez was due to report her 2021 finances to the House Ethics Committee, the Washington Examiner reported.
However, a spokeswoman for the representative said that Ocasio-Cortez is in no rush because she can wait 20 more days before she is fined for not disclosing her finances.
“[T]he Committee provides a 30-day grace period before fines are levied. The congresswoman plans to file before the period expires,” Ocasio-Cortez communications director Lauren Hitt said.
“However, by law, an individual who files a report more than 30 days after it is due without having received an extension must pay a $200 late filing fee,” the extension file noted.
So Ocasio-Cortez does technically have more time to file without a fine.
But almost every other member of the House has already reported their 2021 financial disclosures as of Wednesday morning, the Examiner reported, based on the House Clerk’s website.
Only Ocasio-Cortez and nine other House members have yet to file their 2021 financial disclosure.
But this is notably not the first time Ocasio-Cortez has used the 30-day grace period for her financial disclosures.
Paul Kamenar, an attorney with the National Legal Policy Center, called Ocasio-Cortez a “repeat offender” for doing this.
“Not only is she an admitted scofflaw — she’s a repeat offender. One must wonder whether she also files her income tax returns past the deadlines,” Kamenar said, the Examiner reported.
“Just like AOC did in 2020 when she filed her 2019 disclosure report 30 days late after the 90-day extension, she’s at it again, blowing off the deadline for filing her 2021 filing that was due on Aug. 13,” he added.
Kamenar even suggested that Ocasio-Cortez’s delay in filing could be due to some of the issues surrounding her dress at the 2021 Met Gala. She wore a designer dress touting the phrase, “Tax the Rich.”
Her appearance at the Met Gala caused the NLPC to file a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics in September 2021. The NLPC alleged that Ocasio-Cortez might have accepted gifts related to the Met Gala, which were impermissible. Those gifts may have been related to the dress she wore, or the professional hairstyling or perhaps her transportation to the event, the Examiner reported.
Disclosing any gifts received is part of these yearly financial disclosure statements that are required by law, Kamenar noted.
However, despite her seemingly lackadaisical attitude toward disclosing her own finances, Ocasio-Cortez has been very vocal in suggesting that members of Congress should be outlawed from trading stocks.
“Members of Congress should not be allowed to own individual stock. We are here to serve the public, not to profiteer. It’s shocking that it’s even been allowed up to this point,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted in 2020.
Members of Congress should not be allowed to own individual stock.
We are here to serve the public, not to profiteer. It’s shocking that it’s even been allowed up to this point.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 20, 2020
Despite the drama around Ocasio-Cortez’s finances, the congresswoman did get her renomination as the Democratic candidate for New York’s 14th District on Tuesday, according to the New York Times.
The incumbent representative was uncontested in the Democratic primary. She is expected by many to win re-election in November.
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