Quantcast
Connect with us

Members of Congress profit from stock trades in companies affected by their legislation

Published

on

An analysis by the Washington Post has determined that between 2007 and 2010, 130 members of Congress or their families engaged in hundreds of millions of dollars of transactions involving stock in companies that were lobbying before their committees.

This practice is neither illegal nor forbidden by Congressional ethics rules, which allow members to act in ways that benefit themselves as long as they are not the sole beneficiaries.

ADVERTISEMENT

The paper’s researchers examined all 45,000 congressional stock transactions revealed in financial disclosures over the four-year period and found that almost one out of every eight involved companies affected by bills that were before either Congress as a whole or the lawmakers’ committees at the time.

Slightly more Democrats than Republicans took part in such behavior — 68 compared to 62 — but the three most glaring examples citied by the Post all featured Republicans.

According to the paper, “Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) reported buying $25,000 in bonds in a genetic-technology company around the time that he released a hold on legislation the firm supported. Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) sold between $50,000 and $100,000 in General Electric stock shortly before a Republican filibuster killed legislation sought by the company. The family of Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Tex.) bought between $286,000 and $690,000 in a high-tech company interested in a bill under his committee’s jurisdiction.”

The Post notes that earlier this year, Congress passed the Stock Act to bar members of Congress and top administration officials from using confidential information acquired on Capitol Hill to guide their stock trades. However, the act says nothing about members of Congress trading stocks in companies even as they write and pass laws that affect those companies’ profits.

Lawmakers contacted by the Post defended themselves by saying the transactions were coincidental or were handled by brokers or by their wives without their knowledge. However, the former ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush, Richard W. Painter, said that was not a sufficient answer and that members of Congress should set up blind trusts if they wanted to retain public credibility.

ADVERTISEMENT

“People who are taking actions for venal and nefarious purposes might make the same argument you’re making about your innocence,” former Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA) explained. “That’s why if there is an appearance of an impropriety, there just might be an impropriety. Members need to bend over backwards to show people they are there for the good of the country.”

Photo AFP Photo/Jewel Samad

ADVERTISEMENT

Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘Comparing yourself to terrorists?’ Internet cracks up at Trump saying dead 9-11 hijackers got more justice than him

Published

on

President Donald Trump quoted Fox News host Mark Levin that left many scratching their heads. Levin, who has a show on Sunday evenings, claimed that the terrorists from Sept. 11 got more due process than the president.

The claim was a curious one because, as many on Twitter noted, it's not often that the president of the United States compares himself to a terrorist. Secondly, the 9-11 hijackers all died in the attack, as they were on the planes that crashed into the buildings and into a Pennsylvania field.

Trump is known to quote Levin frequently, though the citations often make the president look worse.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

MLK was ‘gravely disappointed’ with white moderates — whom he believed were responsible for impeding civil rights

Published

on

"We also realize that the problems of racial injustice and economic injustice cannot be solved without a radical redistribution of political and economic power."

—Martin Luther King Jr., 1967

This Martin Luther King Jr. Day comes as moderate Democrats, falling in line behind former vice president Joe Biden, are warning that the party risks re-electing Donald Trump if it nominates too radical a candidate for president — by which they mean someone like Senators Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe catches Alan Dershowitz in humiliating hypocrisy: ‘He’s not to be trusted’

Published

on

Harvard Constitutional law professor Laurence Tribe called out President Donald Trump's lawyer, Alan Dershowitz, Sunday on Twitter, noting that his opinions seem to evolve depending on who he's defending.

Dershowitz is on a kind of press junket for the president, defending him in various media appearances. The former lawyer to Jeffrey Epstein is handling Trump's defense as it pertains to the abuse of power. Dershowitz thinks that charge has no basis in law. In fact, impeachment trials aren't actually legal proceedings, they're political proceedings, because the Justice Department claimed that Trump can't be indicted under the law while he's president.

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image