A bipartisan group of legislators violated a federal law aimed at preventing Congressional representatives from using inside information to enrich themselves.
Under the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act of 2012, members of Congress are required to report financial trades worth more than $1,000 that they, their spouses or their dependent children made within 30 to 45 days of the transactions.
However, 71 members of Congress failed to properly report their trades, in violation of the STOCK Act, Business Insider reported on Monday.
“Congress passed the law a decade ago to combat insider trading and conflicts of interest among their own members and force lawmakers to be more transparent about their personal financial dealings,” according to Business Insider.
“But many members of Congress have not fully complied with the law. They offer excuses including ignorance of the law, clerical errors and mistakes by an accountant.”
In many cases, the lawmakers either reported their transactions late or failed to report them altogether. The stock deals range in value from five figures to millions of dollars.
It’s not surprising that many Congressional representatives don’t feel a sense of urgency about complying with the STOCK Act, since the penalty for violating it is usually a nominal fine.
“While lawmakers who violate the STOCK Act face a fine, the penalty is usually small — $200 is the standard amount — or waived by House or Senate ethics officials,” Business Insider reported.
For such a serious matter, the punishment is laughably small. You could pay $200 penalties on that all day long and still make a killing on the stock market.
Here are the lawmakers who recently violated the STOCK Act one way or another, according to Business Insider:
- Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California
- Sen. Tommy Tuberville, a Republican from Alabama
- Sen. Roger Marshall, a Republican from Kansas
- Sen. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat from Colorado
- Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky
- Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat from Rhode Island
- Sen. Rick Scott, a Republican from Florida
- Sen. Tom Carper, a Democrat from Delaware
- Sen. Bill Hagerty, a Republican from Tennessee
- Sen. Cynthia Lummis, a Republican from Wyoming
- Sen. Gary Peters, a Democrat from Michigan
- Sen. Mark Kelly, a Democrat from Arizona
- Rep. Tom Malinowski, a Democrat from New Jersey
- Rep. Pat Fallon, a Republican from Texas
- Rep. Diana Harshbarger, a Republican from Tennessee
- Rep. Susie Lee, a Democrat of Nevada
- Rep. Madison Cawthorn, a Republican from North Carolina
- Rep. Katherine Clark, a Democrat from Massachusetts
- Rep. Blake Moore, a Republican from Utah
- Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Democrat from Maryland
- Rep. Mo Brooks, a Republican from Alabama
- Rep. Lauren Boebert, a Republican from Colorado
- Rep. Dan Crenshaw, a Republican from Texas
- Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Democrat from Florida
- Rep. Kathy Manning, a Democrat from North Carolina
- Rep. Mikie Sherrill, a Democrat from New Jersey
- Rep. Kevin Hern, a Republican from Oklahoma
- Rep. Brian Mast, a Republican from Florida
- Rep. Brad Schneider, a Democrat from Illinois
- Rep. Michael Guest, a Republican from Mississippi
- Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, a Democrat from New York
- Rep. Lori Trahan, a Democrat from Massachusetts
- Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, a Democrat from Pennsylvania
- Rep. John Rutherford, a Republican from Florida
- Rep. Josh Gottheimer, a Democrat from New Jersey
- Rep. Mark Green, a Republican from Tennessee
- Rep. David Trone, a Democrat from Maryland
- Rep. Pete Sessions, a Republican from Texas
- Rep. Dan Meuser, a Republican from Pennsylvania
- Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, a Democrat from Texas
- Rep. Kathy Castor, a Democrat of Florida
- Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar, a Republican from Florida
- Rep. Bill Pascrell, a Democrat of New Jersey
- Rep. August Pfluger, a Republican from Texas
- Rep. Brian Higgins, a Democrat from New York
- Rep. Cheri Bustos, a Democrat from Illinois
- Rep. Steve Chabot, a Republican from Ohio
- Rep. Victoria Spartz, a Republican from Indiana
- Rep. Rick Allen, a Republican from Georgia
- Rep. Kim Schrier, a Democrat from Washington
- Rep. Kurt Schrader, a Democrat from Oregon
- Rep. Mike Kelly, a Republican from Pennsylvania
- Rep. Chris Jacobs, a Republican from New York
- Rep. Bobby Scott, a Democrat from Virginia
- Rep. Austin Scott, a Republican from Georgia
- Rep. Ed Perlmutter, a Democrat from Colorado
- Rep. Dwight Evans, a Democrat from Pennsylvania
- Rep. Tom Suozzi, a Democrat from New York
- Rep. Warren Davidson, a Republican from Ohio
- Rep. Lance Gooden, a Republican from Texas
- Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, a Republican from Tennessee
- Rep. Michael Burgess, a Republican from Texas
- Rep. Cindy Axne, a Democrat from Iowa
- Del. Michael San Nicolas, a Democrat from Guam
- Rep. Peter Welch, a Democrat from Vermont
- Rep. Jim Banks, a Republican from Indiana
- Rep. Mike Garcia, a Republican from California
- Rep. Rob Wittman, a Republican from Virginia
- Rep. Alan Lowenthal, a Democrat from California
- Rep. Jim Hagedorn, a Republican from Minnesota
- Rep. Roger Williams, a Republican from Texas
Because the paltry penalty has very little deterrent effect, ethics watchdogs and even some members of Congress are pushing for stricter punishments or a ban on federal lawmakers from trading individual stocks.
Interestingly, Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was not on the latest list of STOCK Act violators, presumably because she reported her transactions in a timely manner and, therefore, was technically in compliance.
However, the multi-millionaire’s long history of stock trades during the 35 years she has been in Congress is raising eyebrows, even among the liberal media.
In March, Pelosi’s financier husband Paul bought 2,500 shares of Tesla stock, worth $2.18 million, as the Democrats aggressively pushed for increased green energy spending.
In June, Paul Pelosi bought $1 million to $5 million in shares of semiconductor maker Nvidia around the same time that Congress was pushing through a bill that would give generous subsidies for manufacturing them.
It’s repulsive that some wealthy politicians use their taxpayer-funded positions to trade on inside information to enrich themselves when the average American would be jailed for doing the same thing.
The public’s faith in institutions such as the media, banks, the court system, the intelligence agencies and public schools have plunged in recent years.
Similarly, Americans are fed up with self-dealing politicians. Congress should ban trading in individual stocks by members and their spouses. This should not be a partisan issue.
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