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NYT: Almost 20 percent of U.S. Congress may have traded stocks based on insider info

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A new report from the New York Times claims almost 100 members of the United States Congress may have been involved in stock trades based on insider information they may have been privy to because of their seats on congressional committees between 2019 and 2021.

The report, which was published on September 13, found that 97 members of Congress who hold oversight positions on various committees had been involved in some stock trading activities that presented possible conflicts of interest.

The report also revealed that some members of their immediate families may also have benefited from insider trading information.

The report showed a majority of the trades made by members of Congress and their families showed no conflict of interest and no signs of being suspicious, largely brokered by third party independent trusts.

There were an estimated 3,700 total trades made by members of Congress between 2019 and 2021. There were 80 congressional lawmakers who were looked at in the report who made trades that presented no conflicts of interest at all. 

The STOCK Act of 2012 allows members of Congress to make stock trades, even if they do possibly conflict with the interests of the committees to which they are assigned. However, in order to keep the trades above board, they must be reported to Congress within 45 days.

It is not clear from the Times report whether the trades examined in the report were properly disclosed to Congress within the allotted time frame.

The lawmakers named in the NYT report come from both sides of the aisle. Some members of Congress have called for increased oversight and tightened laws regarding stock trading for US federal lawmakers.

“The American people don’t want us day trading for profit, and engaging in active trading of the very equities that are connected to the policies that we are deciding on and voting on every day,” said Republican Rep. Chip Roy (Texas) to the NYT.

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Donald R. Laster, Jr

Not surprising.

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