BY StaffJune 28, 2023
1 year ago
BY 
 | June 28, 2023
1 year ago

Rep. Suzan DelBene failed to report up to $5.5 million in stock sales in the legal time allotted

U.S. Representative Suzan DelBene, a Democrat from Washington State, has reportedly failed to report up to $5.5 million in stock sales within the legally required timeframe.

This news comes from a recent report by The Western Journal, which states that DelBene, who also serves as the chairwoman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, did not disclose these transactions until well after the deadline had passed.

According to the report, DelBene and her husband sold stock in Microsoft, the tech giant, in two separate transactions on August 30, 2022, and March 1, 2023. These sales were worth somewhere between $1.25 million and $5.5 million. However, the exact figures are not required to be disclosed under law.

DelBene's late disclosures raise questions

What is required by law, under the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, is for members of Congress to report securities purchases or sales no later than 45 days after they or their spouse make them. In DelBene's case, she reportedly missed this deadline by a significant margin. The March transaction was reported 105 days after it was made, and the August 2022 transaction was reported 288 days after it was made.

This failure to meet the deadline has raised concerns among watchdog groups. Dylan Hedtler-Gaudette, the government affairs manager at the Project on Government Oversight, expressed his concern to Fox News, stating that lawmakers not following the law they made is a "really bad thing."

Unfortunately, DelBene is not the only member of Congress who has failed to comply with the law.

Repeated violations of the STOCK Act

A Business Insider report from January revealed that 78 members of Congress had violated the STOCK Act. The penalties for these violations are typically small, often just $200, or they are waived by House or Senate ethics officials.

Despite these repeated violations, efforts to impose stricter penalties or even ban federal lawmakers from trading individual stocks have not been successful. A bill to ban lawmakers from trading stocks was debated on Capitol Hill, but it ultimately died without being passed.

These failures to enforce and comply with the STOCK Act have led to calls for more stringent measures. Cedric Payne, Vice President and general counsel for the Campaign Legal Center, told Fox News that the constant violations of the law show that the disclosure requirement is not enough.

DelBene's response to the allegations

In response to the allegations, DelBene's representative issued a statement to Fox News. According to the congresswoman, the transactions happened after her husband, a former top executive at Microsoft, was confirmed to a senior role at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

"In March 2022, the DelBenes disclosed a forward contract, which put in place a self-executing stock sale schedule at a set price related to compensation from Mr. DelBene’s previous employment," the representative said. "This forward contract was drafted by ethics experts and approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs."

Despite this explanation, Payne maintains that DelBene missed the deadline for reporting the stock transaction, which is clear. He also added that the members cannot comply with the filing deadline and sometimes you still have the appearance of conflicts ofinterest. Therefore, there needs to be restrictions where members are not allowed to own individual stocks.

DelBene's involvement in the TRUST Act

Interestingly, DelBene is one of the members who signed onto the Transparent Representation Upholding Service and Trust, or TRUST, Act. This act would ban members of Congress or their spouses from trading individual stocks. However, whether this act will be passed remains uncertain.

While DelBene's signing onto the bill may have made her look good, it does not necessarily mean she believes in it or will act accordingly. This raises further questions about the effectiveness of the current laws and the commitment of lawmakers to uphold them.

The Western Journal's report on DelBene's failure to report her stock sales in a timely manner has shed light on a broader issue of lawmakers not complying with the laws they themselves have created. This issue, if not addressed, could continue to erode public trust in Congress and its members.

A call for stricter regulations and transparency

In conclusion, the case of Rep. Suzan DelBene highlights the need for stricter regulations and greater transparency in the financial dealings of members of Congress. The repeated violations of the STOCK Act and the failure to enforce its provisions have led to calls for more stringent measures, including a ban on federal lawmakers from trading individual stocks.

  • Rep. Suzan DelBene reportedly failed to report up to $5.5 million in stock sales within the legally required timeframe.
  • DelBene is not the only member of Congress who has failed to comply with the law. A report from January revealed that 78 members of Congress had violated the STOCK Act.
  • Despite these repeated violations, efforts to impose stricter penalties or even ban federal lawmakers from trading individual stocks have not been successful.
  • DelBene is one of the members who signed onto the TRUST Act, which would ban members of Congress or their spouses from trading individual stocks. However, whether this act will be passed remains uncertain.

Please consider sharing this article on Twitter and Facebook to raise awareness about this important issue.

Written by: Staff

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