Washington D.C. – A new analysis from government watchdog Accountable.US found seven House Republicans have yet to file their financial disclosures after the August 13th deadline despite receiving 90-day extensions to do so, including Reps. Bill Huizenga (R-MI-04), Michael McCaul (R-TX-10), John Rose (R-TN-06), Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), Brad Finstad (R-MN-01), Kat Cammack (R-FL-03), and George Santos (R-NY-03). The potential violations of the STOCK Act come as the MAGA House Majority has yet to consider any of the six bipartisan House bills introduced this Congress to restrict or ban Congressional stock trading despite strong bipartisan public pressure to act.
With so many in Congress outperforming the S&P 500 despite the most tumultuous market in years, the need for greater transparency is clear,” said Liz Zelnick, Director of government watchdog Accountable.US’ Economic Security & Corporate Power program.
“When Members of Congress kick the can on public financial disclosures or deliberately blow off deadlines like Rep. Armstrong, it raises more questions whether some are using their privileged positions for personal gain. When Congress is allowed to trade in secret by dodging personal disclosure, it creates a perfect storm for corruption and conflicts of interest. If the MAGA House Majority is unwilling to act on popular and bipartisan efforts to prevent self-dealing on Wall Street and restore public trust in government, the question becomes: What do they have to hide?”
BACKGROUND: Need For Reform Clear After Many Take Advantage of Lax Congressional Rules Around Personal Investments and Reporting:
- Members of Congress were required to file their annual financial disclosure reports by May 15th to help identify and regulate possible corrupt conflicts of interest or instances when an “official uses his position of influence to enhance his personal financial interests.” However, Accountable.US found last month that nearly 60% of incumbent representatives—of which 54.4% were Republicans—failed to meet that deadline, and instead filed extensions for their 2022 financial disclosure. And of the 257 representatives that filed extensions, Accountable.US found 80.9% asked for the maximum 90-day extension.
- Accountable.US’ new review follows the 90-day extension deadline on August 13th. Those in Congress who have ignored the deadline despite the generous extension will likely only fuel criticism that the STOCK Act is too “toothless” to be effective. In the last few years, several members of Congress have been accused of using nonpublic information when buying or selling stocks, ultimately to their benefit — concerns that have only grown as many members of Congress were able to beat the S&P 500 in 2021 and 2022 amid “the worst market since 2008.”
- Efforts to pass stricter regulations on financial investments by members of Congress and their families follow the New York Times’ finding that over 3,700 trades reported by lawmakers from 2019 to 2021 “posed potential conflicts between their public responsibilities and private finances,” including sitting on congressional committees that “give them some degree of knowledge or influence.”