Insider and several other news organizations have this year identified 43 members of Congress who’ve failed to properly report their financial trades as mandated by the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012, also known as the STOCK Act.
Congress passed the law in 2012 to combat insider trading and conflicts of interest among their own members and force lawmakers to be more transparent about their personal financial dealings. A key provision of the law mandates that lawmakers publicly – and quickly – disclose any stock trade made by themselves, a spouse, or a dependent child.
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.
While lawmakers who violate the STOCK Act face a fine, the penalty is usually small – $US200 ($AU268) is the standard amount – or waived by House or Senate ethics officials. Ethics watchdogs and even some members of Congress have called for stricter penalties or even a ban on federal lawmakers from trading individual stocks, although neither has come to pass.
Here are the lawmakers who have this year violated the STOCK Act – to one extent or another – during 2021:
The independent Office of Congressional Ethics, in part citing Insider’s reporting, found “substantial reason to believe” that Malinowski violated federal rules or laws designed to promote transparency and defend against conflicts. It voted 5-1 to refer its findings to the Democrat-led House Committee on Ethics, which confirmedon October 21 that it will continue reviewing the matter.
Rep. Katherine Clark, a Democrat from Massachusetts
Clark, one of the highest-ranking Democrats in the House, was several weeks late in disclosing 19 of her husband’s stock transactions. Together, the trades are worth as much as $US285,000 ($AU382,005).
Mast was late disclosing that he had purchased up to $US100,000 ($AU134,037) in stock in an aerospace company. The president of the company had just testified before a congressional subcommittee on which Mast sits.
Suozzi failed to file required reports on about 300 financial transactions, NPR reported, citing research from the Campaign Legal Center.
Rep. Cindy Axne, a Democrat from Iowa
During 2019 and 2020, Axne didn’t file required periodic transaction reports for more than three-dozen trades, reported NPR, citing research by the Campaign Legal Center.
Rep. Warren Davidson, a Republican from Ohio
Davidson didn’t properly disclose the sale of stock worth up to $US100,000 ($AU134,037), reported NPR, citing Campaign Legal Center research.
Rep. Lance Gooden, a Republican from Texas
Gooden failed to file mandatory periodic transaction reports for a dozen stock transactions, per the STOCK Act, reported NPR, citing Campaign Legal Center research. Gooden’s office disputed to the Dallas Morning News that the lawmaker did anything wrong.
Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, a Republican from Tennessee