BREAKING: Campaign Legal Center Files Complaints Against Seven Members of Congress for Failing to Disclose Stock Trading Activity
Under the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act, members of Congress must disclose a stock trade within 45 days of the trade with no exceptions. These seven members have not just delayed reporting but have failed to disclose trading activity.
Washington D.C. – Today, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed complaints with the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) for failure to disclose stock trades in compliance with the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act.
While previous CLC complaints have addressed members who delayed disclosure beyond the mandated window or filed disclosures in an improper manner, these seven members — Reps. Cindy Axne (D-IA), Warren Davidson (R-OH), Lance Gooden (R-TX), Bobby Scott (D-VA), Tom Suozzi (D-NY), Roger Williams (R-TX) and Del. Michael San Nicolas (D-GU) — have conducted significant stock trading activity that has not been disclosed at all.
The actions of these House members demonstrate a widespread, systemic issue in Congress that crosses ideological and geographic lines. All members of Congress and their staff receive mandatory STOCK Act training. This ongoing trend of STOCK Act violations shows that merely the threat of a nominal fine is not deterring members of Congress from breaking the law.
“The lack of accountability we’ve seen in regard to STOCK Act compliance is basically giving elected officials the green light to buy and sell stocks based on information gained from committee meetings without any transparency for their voters,” said Kedric Payne, general counsel and senior director of ethics at Campaign Legal Center. “Until we see meaningful enforcement paired with real transparency, I see no end to this troubling trend.”
The fact is that members are not being held accountable for financial transactions that could very reasonably arouse conflict of interest concerns. Of particular concern with this group is the fact that five of these seven members — Axne, Davidson, Gooden, San Nicolas and Williams — sit on the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services.
As members of Congress craft laws that directly impact the lives of all Americans, voters have a right to know whether their representatives are acting in the public’s interest or for their own financial gain. When elected officials prioritize gaining personal wealth, they are not only hurting their own accountability, but they are diminishing public trust in government.
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