37 members of Congress have violated a law designed to root out insider trading and prevent conflicts-of-interest

·9 min read
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Marianne Ayala/Insider
  • 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 37 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 - $200 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

Mark Kelly Gabby Giffords .JPG
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 $100,000 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. He faces a congressional ethics investigation, which the Committee on House Ethics confirmed in September.

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 $17.53 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 $10.9 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 $285,000.

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 $1.1 million. He was late again disclosing trades made in August.

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 $3.3 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 $2.7 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 $100,000 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

Trahan was months late disclosing the sale of stock shares in a software company.

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

Castor was late disclosing the purchase of tens of thousands of dollars worth of stock shares throughout 2021.

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. Cheri Bustos, a Democrat from Illinois

Cheri Bustos
Rep. Cheri Bustos, a Democrat from Illinois. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Bustos was months late in disclosing that she had sold up to $150,000 worth of stocks in March.

Rep. Steve Chabot, a Republican from Ohio

Steve Chabot
Steve Chabot, a Republican from Ohio. Al Behrman/AP

Chabot was months late disclosing a stock share exchange he held in early 2021.

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 $50,000 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. 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

Perlmutter ran a few days late in filing disclosures for as much as $30,000 in stock trades his wife made in June.

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. Tom Suozzi, a Democrat from New York

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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 $100,000, 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.

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. 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.

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