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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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.

“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

Trump wants to ‘wash his hands of responsibility for the Kurds’: US official tells NBC News

Published

on

A source reportedly told NBC News on Monday that President Donald Trump wants to "wash his hands of responsibility for the Kurds."

NBC correspondent Richard Engel reported the remarks on Monday morning.

"US officials tell me Trump wants to wash his hands of responsibility for the Kurds," Engel wrote on Twitter. "The US mil/gov gave Kurds REPEATED assurances of protection. US even asked Kurds to REMOVE defenses BEFORE the Turkish offensive. Kurds complied and now being displaced. WH says not our problem."

Read the tweet below.

US officials tell me Trump wants to wash his hands of responsibility for the Kurds. The US mil/gov gave Kurds REPEATED assurances of protection. US even asked Kurds to REMOVE defenses BEFORE the Turkish offensive. Kurds complied and now being displaced. WH says not our problem.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Steve Schmidt: Trump’s ‘corruption’ is dragging America into ‘banana republic territory’

Published

on

On Monday's edition of MSNBC's "Morning Joe," former George W. Bush and John McCain adviser Steve Schmidt laid into President Donald Trump's "corruption," warning that it is undermining the foundations of the rule of law.

"The corruption is just unbelievable," said Schmidt, who recently left the Republican Party to become an independent. "And if you look back to the Republican convention, Joe, when we talked about it at the time, the chants of lock them up — what I said about it at the time was it was banana republicanism."

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Minimum wage workers win big union victory in anti-union Texas

Published

on

While Donald Trump’s Labor Department works to diminish employee rights, organized workers have scored an important victory deep in the heart of anti-union Texas.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner signed an executive order raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2021 for 8,000 people at the city’s two airports. That’s a 65% increase for workers paid the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour. About 8,000 baggage handlers, caterers, wheelchair attendants and others benefit.

The Service Employees International Union organized the Houston workers. Workers in Denver earlier won $15 an hour by 2021. A new ordinance proposed in Minneapolis would require $15 an hour by 2022.

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