43 members of Congress have violated a law designed to stop insider trading and prevent conflicts-of-interest

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  • Insider and other media have identified numerous US lawmakers not complying with the federal STOCK Act.
  • Their excuses range from oversights, to clerical errors, to inattentive accountants.
  • Ethics watchdogs – and even some in Congress – want to ban lawmakers from trading individual stocks.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

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:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California
Dianne Feinstein
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat of California. Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times via AP, Pool
Feinstein was months late disclosing a five-figure investment her husband made into a private, youth-focused polling company.
Sen. Tommy Tuberville, a Republican from Alabama
Sen. Tommy Tuberville, an Alabama Republican, is pointing while wearing a gray suit and purple tie.
Sen. Tommy Tuberville, a Republican from Alabama. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Tuberville was weeks or months late in disclosing nearly 130 separate stock trades from January to May.
Sen. Roger Marshall, a Republican from Kansas
Roger Marshall
Sen. Roger Marshall, a Republican from Kansas. Leigh Vogel/Pool via AP
Marshall was up to 17 months late disclosing stock trades for one of his dependent children.
Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky
Sen. Rand Paul is administered an oath as his wife Kelley looks on during a swearing-in ceremony in the US Capitol on Jan 3, 2017.
Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky. Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call
Paul was 16 months late in disclosing that his wife bought stock in a biopharmaceutical company that manufactures an antiviral COVID-19 treatment, the Washington Post reported.
Sen. Mark Kelly, a Democrat from Arizona
Image
Sen. Mark Kelly, a Democrat from Arizona. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
Kelly, a retired astronaut, failed to disclose on time his investment in a company that’s developing a supersonic passenger aircraft, Fox Business reported
Sen. Cynthia Lummis, a Republican from Wyoming
US Senator from Wyoming, Cynthia Lummis.
US Senator from Wyoming, Cynthia Lummis. Tom Williams/Roll Call
Lummis was several days late reporting a purchase in August of up to $US100,000 ($AU134,037) in bitcoin, CNBC reported.
Rep. Tom Malinowski, a Democrat from New Jersey
Tom.malinowski
Rep. Tom Malinowski, a Democrat from New Jersey. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images
Malinowski failed to disclose dozens of stock trades made during 2020 and early 2021, doing so only after questions from Insider.

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 confirmed on October 21 that it will continue reviewing the matter.

Rep. Pat Fallon, a Republican from Texas
Rep. Pat Fallon, a Republican from Texas, is waving his right hand and wearing a light blue suit during a group photo with freshmen members of the House Republican Conference on the House steps of the US Capitol on January 4, 2021.
Rep. Pat Fallon, a Republican from Texas. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
Fallon was months late disclosing dozens of stock trades during early- and mid-2021 that together are worth as much as $US17.53 ($AU23) million.
Rep. Diana Harshbarger, a Republican from Tennessee
Rep. Diana Harshbarger, a congresswoman from Tennessee. She is in a blue jacket at the US Capitol.
Rep. Diana Harshbarger, a Republican from Tennessee. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
Harshbarger failed to properly disclose more than 700 stock trades that together are worth as much as $US10.9 ($AU15) million.
Rep. Katherine Clark, a Democrat from Massachusetts
Katherine Clark.
Rep. Katherine Clark, a Democrat from Massachusetts. MassLive
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).
Rep. Blake Moore, a Republican from Texas
Rep. Blake Moore, a Republican from Utah, stands in front of the US Capitol in Washington, DC.
Rep. Blake Moore, a Republican from Utah. Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images
Moore in early- to mid-2021 did not properly disclose dozens of stock and stock-option trades together worth as much as $US1.1 ($AU1) million. He was late again disclosing trades made in August.
Rep. Mo Brooks, a Republican from Alabama
Mo.brooks
Rep. Mo Brooks, a Republican from Alabama. Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images
Brooks, who is running for US Senate, failed to properly disclose a sale of Pfizer stock worth up to $US50,000 ($AU67,018).
Rep. Dan Crenshaw, a Republican from Texas
Dan crenshaw
Rep. Dan Crenshaw, a Republican from Texas. Facebook/Crenshaw for Congress
Crenshaw was months late disclosing several stock trades he made in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Daily Beast reported.
Rep. Susie Lee, a Democrat of Nevada
Susie Lee
Rep. Susie Lee, a Democrat from Nevada. Michael Brochstein/Getty Images
Lee failed to properly disclose more than 200 stock trades between early-2020 and mid-2021. Together, the trades are worth as much as $US3.3 ($AU4) million.
Rep. Kevin Hern, a Republican from Oklahoma
Rep. Kevin Hern, a Republican of Oklahoma, speaks during a Republican Study Committee press conference on Wednesday, May 19, 2021.
Rep. Kevin Hern, a Republican from Oklahoma. Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
Hern did not disclose nearly two-dozen stock trades in a timely manner, in violation of the STOCK Act. Taken together, the trades are worth as much as $US2.7 ($AU4) million.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Democrat from Florida
Debbie Wasserman-Schultz
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Democrat from Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Wasserman Schultz was months late reporting four stock trades made either for herself or her child.
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, a Democrat from New York
Sean Maloney
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, a Democrat from New York. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call
Maloney was months late in disclosing he sold eight stocks he inherited in mid-2020 when his mother died.
Rep. Brian Mast, a Republican from Florida
Rep. Brian Mast, Republican of Florida
Rep. Brian Mast, a Republican from Florida. Ting Shen-Pool/Getty Images
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.
Rep. Lori Trahan, a Democrat from Massachusetts
Rep. Lori Trahan, a Democrat from Massachusetts, talking
Rep. Lori Trahan, a Democrat from Massachusetts. Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call
Rep. John Rutherford, a Republican from Florida
Rep. John Rutherford, a Republican from Florida, stands outside the US Capitol.
Rep. John Rutherford, a Republican from Florida. Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Rutherford failed to properly disclose five individual stock transactions he made in late 2020.
Rep. Kathy Castor, a Democrat of Florida
Rep. Kathy Castor, a Democrat from Florida, speaks at a news conference.
Rep. Kathy Castor, a Democrat from Florida. Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images
Rep. August Pfluger, a Republican from Texas
Rep. August Pfluger, a Republican from Texas, talking on the phone
Rep. August Pfluger, a Republican from Texas. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images
Pfluger was several months late disclosing numerous stock purchases or sales made in January or March either by himself or by his wife.
Rep. Brian Higgins, a Democrat from New York
Rep. Brian Higgins
Rep. Brian Higgins. Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call
Higgins was about 11 months late disclosing three stock trades he made in late 2020.
Rep. Cheri Bustos, a Democrat from Illinois
Cheri Bustos
Rep. Cheri Bustos, a Democrat from Illinois. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Rep. Steve Chabot, a Republican from Ohio
Steve Chabot
Steve Chabot, a Republican from Ohio. Al Behrman/AP
Rep. Victoria Spartz, a Republican from Indiana
Rep. Victoria Spartz, a Republican from Indiana, stands at a press conference.
Rep. Victoria Spartz, a Republican from Indiana. Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images
Spartz was two weeks late disclosing a purchase of up to $US50,000 ($AU67,018) worth of stock in a commercial real-estate firm.
Rep. Rick Allen, a Republican from Georgia
Rep. Rick Allen, a Republican from Georgia, stands outside the US Capitol holding a mask.
Rep. Rick Allen, a Republican from Georgia. Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images
Allen, a four-term Republican who represents a large southeastern region of Georgia, appears to have improperly disclosed the purchases and sales of several stocks during 2019 and 2020.
Rep. Mike Kelly, a Republican from Pennsylvania
Mike Kelly
Rep. Mike Kelly, a Republican from Pennsylvania. Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
Kelly was more than seven weeks late reporting a stock purchase made by his wife.
Rep. Chris Jacobs, a Republican from New York
Rep. Chris Jacobs, a Republican from New York, walks outside the US Capitol
Rep. Chris Jacobs, a Republican from New York. Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images
Jacobs was months late filing various transactions made throughout early- to mid-2021, Forbes reported.
Rep. Bobby Scott, a Democrat from Virginia
Rep. Bobby Scott
Rep. Bobby Scott, a Democrat from Virginia. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
Scott was months late in disclosing a pair of stock sales from December 2020, Forbes reported. NPR also reported several other late transactions, as first identified by the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center.
Rep. Austin Scott, a Republican from Georgia
Rep. Austin Scott, a Republican from Georgia, walks off the stage at a rally featuring former US President Donald Trump on September 25, 2021 in Perry, Georgia. Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker, Georgia Secretary of State candidate Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA), and Georgia Lieutenant Gubernatorial candidate State Sen. Burt Jones (R-GA) also appeared as guests at the rally.
Rep. Austin Scott, a Republican from Georgia. Sean Rayford/Getty Images
Scott, a Republican from Georgia, was a week late reporting a handful of transactions conducted by his spouse.
Rep. Pete Sessions, a Republican from Texas
Pete Sessions
Rep. Pete Sessions, a Republican from Texas. AP
Sessions was a month late in reporting a purchase of stock in Amazon.com.
Rep. Ed Perlmutter, a Democrat from Colorado
Rep. Ed Perlmutter, a Democrat of Colorado, filed stock transactions late.
Rep. Ed Perlmutter, a Democrat from Colorado. Samuel Corum/Getty Images
Rep. Tom Suozzi, a Democrat from New York
Tom suozzi salt tax
Rep. Tom Suozzi, a Democrat from New York. Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
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
Cindy Axne Iowa
Rep. Cindy Axne, a Democrat from Iowa. Joshua Lott/Getty Images
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
Warren davidson
Rep. Warren Davidson, a Republican from Ohio. John Minchillo/AP
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
Lance gooden
Rep. Lance Gooden, a Republican from Texas. House Television via AP
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
Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, a Republican from Tennessee, is interviewed by CQ Roll Call in his Cannon Building office, about losing his parents to cancer, February 25, 2016.
Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, a Republican from Tennessee. Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call
Fleischmann, a Republican from Tennessee, was late in disclosing a pair of stock transactions together worth up to $US30,000 ($AU40,211).
Del. Michael San Nicolas, a Democrat from Guam
Del. Michael San Nicolas of Guam, at the US Capitol
Del. Michael San Nicolas, a Democrat from Guam. Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call
San Nicolas did not properly disclose two trades — one in 2019 and another in 2020, reported NPR, citing Campaign Legal Center research.
Rep. Jim Banks, a Republican from Indiana
Jim Banks
Rep. Jim Banks, a Republican from Indiana. NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images
Banks was a week late reporting a handful of stock transactions.
Rep. Rob Wittman, a Republican from Virginia
Wittman
Rep. Rob Wittman, a Republican from Virginia. Carolyn Kaster/AP
Wittman was a few days late in disclosing four of his stock transactions that included pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson.
Rep. Roger Williams, a Republican from Texas
Roger williams
Rep. Roger Williams, a Republican from Texas. Associated Press/Carolyn Kaster
Williams did not properly report three stock transactions his wife made in 2019, reported NPR, citing Campaign Legal Center research.
Rep. Dan Meuser, a Republican from Pennsylvania
Rep. Dan Meuser, a Republican from Pennsylvania, in a suit and tie.
Rep. Dan Meuser, a Republican from Pennsylvania. Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call
Meuser was about one year late disclosing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of stock purchases his wife and children made during March 2020, LegiStorm reported.