Over 70 Members of Congress Violated Federal Law: Report

A bipartisan group of legislators violated a federal law aimed at preventing Congressional representatives from using inside information to enrich themselves.

Under the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act of 2012, members of Congress are required to report financial trades worth more than $1,000 that they, their spouses or their dependent children made within 30 to 45 days of the transactions.

However, 71 members of Congress failed to properly report their trades, in violation of the STOCK Act, Business Insider reported on Monday.

“Congress passed the law a decade ago to combat insider trading and conflicts of interest among their own members and force lawmakers to be more transparent about their personal financial dealings,” according to Business Insider.

“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.”

In many cases, the lawmakers either reported their transactions late or failed to report them altogether. The stock deals range in value from five figures to millions of dollars.

It’s not surprising that many Congressional representatives don’t feel a sense of urgency about complying with the STOCK Act, since the penalty for violating it is usually a nominal fine.

“While lawmakers who violate the STOCK Act face a fine, the penalty is usually small — $200 is the standard amount — or waived by House or Senate ethics officials,” Business Insider reported.

[firefly_poll]

For such a serious matter, the punishment is laughably small. You could pay $200 penalties on that all day long and still make a killing on the stock market.

Here are the lawmakers who recently violated the STOCK Act one way or another, according to Business Insider:

  1. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California
  2. Sen. Tommy Tuberville, a Republican from Alabama
  3. Sen. Roger Marshall, a Republican from Kansas
  4. Sen. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat from Colorado
  5. Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky
  6. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat from Rhode Island
  7. Sen. Rick Scott, a Republican from Florida
  8. Sen. Tom Carper, a Democrat from Delaware
  9. Sen. Bill Hagerty, a Republican from Tennessee
  10. Sen. Cynthia Lummis, a Republican from Wyoming
  11. Sen. Gary Peters, a Democrat from Michigan
  12. Sen. Mark Kelly, a Democrat from Arizona
  13. Rep. Tom Malinowski, a Democrat from New Jersey
  14. Rep. Pat Fallon, a Republican from Texas
  15. Rep. Diana Harshbarger, a Republican from Tennessee
  16. Rep. Susie Lee, a Democrat of Nevada
  17. Rep. Madison Cawthorn, a Republican from North Carolina
  18. Rep. Katherine Clark, a Democrat from Massachusetts
  19. Rep. Blake Moore, a Republican from Utah
  20. Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Democrat from Maryland
  21. Rep. Mo Brooks, a Republican from Alabama
  22. Rep. Lauren Boebert, a Republican from Colorado
  23. Rep. Dan Crenshaw, a Republican from Texas
  24. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Democrat from Florida
  25. Rep. Kathy Manning, a Democrat from North Carolina
  26. Rep. Mikie Sherrill, a Democrat from New Jersey
  27. Rep. Kevin Hern, a Republican from Oklahoma
  28. Rep. Brian Mast, a Republican from Florida
  29. Rep. Brad Schneider, a Democrat from Illinois
  30. Rep. Michael Guest, a Republican from Mississippi
  31. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, a Democrat from New York
  32. Rep. Lori Trahan, a Democrat from Massachusetts
  33. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, a Democrat from Pennsylvania
  34. Rep. John Rutherford, a Republican from Florida
  35. Rep. Josh Gottheimer, a Democrat from New Jersey
  36. Rep. Mark Green, a Republican from Tennessee
  37. Rep. David Trone, a Democrat from Maryland
  38. Rep. Pete Sessions, a Republican from Texas
  39. Rep. Dan Meuser, a Republican from Pennsylvania
  40. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, a Democrat from Texas
  41. Rep. Kathy Castor, a Democrat of Florida
  42. Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar, a Republican from Florida
  43. Rep. Bill Pascrell, a Democrat of New Jersey
  44. Rep. August Pfluger, a Republican from Texas
  45. Rep. Brian Higgins, a Democrat from New York
  46. Rep. Cheri Bustos, a Democrat from Illinois
  47. Rep. Steve Chabot, a Republican from Ohio
  48. Rep. Victoria Spartz, a Republican from Indiana
  49. Rep. Rick Allen, a Republican from Georgia
  50. Rep. Kim Schrier, a Democrat from Washington
  51. Rep. Kurt Schrader, a Democrat from Oregon
  52. Rep. Mike Kelly, a Republican from Pennsylvania
  53. Rep. Chris Jacobs, a Republican from New York
  54. Rep. Bobby Scott, a Democrat from Virginia
  55. Rep. Austin Scott, a Republican from Georgia
  56. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, a Democrat from Colorado
  57. Rep. Dwight Evans, a Democrat from Pennsylvania
  58. Rep. Tom Suozzi, a Democrat from New York
  59. Rep. Warren Davidson, a Republican from Ohio
  60. Rep. Lance Gooden, a Republican from Texas
  61. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, a Republican from Tennessee
  62. Rep. Michael Burgess, a Republican from Texas
  63. Rep. Cindy Axne, a Democrat from Iowa
  64. Del. Michael San Nicolas, a Democrat from Guam
  65. Rep. Peter Welch, a Democrat from Vermont
  66. Rep. Jim Banks, a Republican from Indiana
  67. Rep. Mike Garcia, a Republican from California
  68. Rep. Rob Wittman, a Republican from Virginia
  69. Rep. Alan Lowenthal, a Democrat from California
  70. Rep. Jim Hagedorn, a Republican from Minnesota
  71. Rep. Roger Williams, a Republican from Texas

Because the paltry penalty has very little deterrent effect, ethics watchdogs and even some members of Congress are pushing for stricter punishments or a ban on federal lawmakers from trading individual stocks.

Interestingly, Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was not on the latest list of STOCK Act violators, presumably because she reported her transactions in a timely manner and, therefore, was technically in compliance.

However, the multi-millionaire’s long history of stock trades during the 35 years she has been in Congress is raising eyebrows, even among the liberal media.

In March, Pelosi’s financier husband Paul bought 2,500 shares of Tesla stock, worth $2.18 million, as the Democrats aggressively pushed for increased green energy spending.

In June, Paul Pelosi bought $1 million to $5 million in shares of semiconductor maker Nvidia around the same time that Congress was pushing through a bill that would give generous subsidies for manufacturing them.

It’s repulsive that some wealthy politicians use their taxpayer-funded positions to trade on inside information to enrich themselves when the average American would be jailed for doing the same thing.

The public’s faith in institutions such as the media, banks, the court system, the intelligence agencies and public schools have plunged in recent years.

Similarly, Americans are fed up with self-dealing politicians. Congress should ban trading in individual stocks by members and their spouses. This should not be a partisan issue.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.