Four More Republican Lawmakers Face Inquiries Over Questionable Stock Trades
Another four Republican members of the House of Representatives are facing questions about stock trades that they have made, as they could be violations of the STOCK Act. This brings the total to 34 lawmakers just this year that have faced inquiries about their trading habits. The problem is that these violations typically result in nothing more than a few hundred dollars in fines, making it far more profitable to break the law. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins explains what’s happening.
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*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.
Well, folks, four more Republicans may have run a foul of the stock act, which basically prevents members of Congress from trading stock using insider knowledge or trading stock on things that they have a legislative event coming up for. You know, basically don’t use your knowledge as a member of Congress to enrich yourself. Well, now we got another four Republicans facing inquiries about suspicious stock trades they made, and those Republicans are representative John Rutherford of Florida, Rick Allen of Georgia, Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania and Victoria Spartz of Indiana. They all failed to file paperwork for stock trades within the 45 day federal deadline required under the stop trading on congressional knowledge stock act of 2012. So you made some stock trades. You didn’t disclose them and you have to disclose them so we can make sure there’s no conflict of interest and that you’re not using insider knowledge. And these four Republicans just, oops, didn’t do it. Some of the stock trades for some of the members were worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, by the way, hundreds of thousands of dollars. But here’s the thing.
These four members now, bring the grand total of members of Congress, both Democrat and Republican this year alone, who have found to be in violation of the stock act to 34. There have been 34 members of Congress that have violated the stock act this year. Can we finally get to the point where members of Congress are banned from owning stock? I know a lot of people on social media say ban them from trading stock. Uh-uh, that’s not okay. Be like, well, we put it in a blind trust and blah, we don’t know where it is. Joe Manchin literally said that this week. No, ban them from owning stock, ban them from owning anything. How about that? How about you don’t get to make money off your name while you’re a member of Congress. You don’t get to make money because oh, well this congressperson owns a restaurant. Let me go eat there because I like the congressperson, Lauren Boebert. Oh, this congressperson owns a little boutique. Let me go shop there because I like this Congress person. I forget who it is, but yes, one of them does own. The point is these people are enriching themselves because of their position, whether it’s through the stock, whether it’s through the other businesses they own that people patronize just because they like the individual. This is not okay. This is always going to lead to corruption.
And do you know why? Because as Mike Papantonio loves to say, nobody goes to jail and he’s right, by the way. Nobody goes to jail. Do you know what the fine typically is for the members of Congress who violate the stock act while trading hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of stock. Do you know what the fine is? 200 bucks, 200 bucks. You can trade $200,000 of stock, you know, that you know is about to go, boom, because you got this legislation coming up. And then if they find out they’re going to be like, oh, we’re so mad you violated the stock act, give us $200. You know, like it’s frigging monopoly here. Okay. $200 versus the 50 grand I just made, yeah, no problem. There you go. Here, I’ll throw in an extra 200, because I may do it again tomorrow. The penalty is paltry. The penalty is basically just a user fee at this point because it is so small. Ban them from owning stocks.