Dem. House rep. is accused of violating federal conflict-of-interest law

Breitbart News reports that Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX) has become the latest member of Congress to be accused of violating the STOCK Act of 2012. 

For those unfamiliar with this piece of legislation, its overall purpose is to combat any insider trading that might be taking place in Congress. It does so, in part, by putting forth several guidelines that members of Congress who do trade stocks have to follow.

One of these guidelines requires members of Congress to submit periodic transaction reports to the clerk of the House of Representatives. Congressional members are required to do so within 30 to 45 days of any stock transaction that is over $1,000. And, they have to do so whether the transaction was made either on their behalf or on their spouse’s behalf.

This is where Gonzalez appears to have run into some trouble.

What did he do?

Business Insider detailed Gonzalez’s alleged violation of the 2012 STOCK Act in a recent report. The outlet based the report on Gonzlez’s latest financial disclosure statement.

Business Insider reports:

Gonzalez sold between $1,000 and $15,000 worth in stock in Freeport-McMoRan, a Phoenix-based mining company, on July 24, 2021, but waited to report it until June 27, 2022, his hand-written financial disclosure indicates.

This, of course, is well over the 30-45 day reporting requirement, which suggests that Gonzalez did violate the 2012 STOCK Act. There is more to this story though.

Insider trading?

Business Insider goes on to highlight the fact that “Gonzalez has made mining an issue through his work as a federal lawmaker.”

Gonzalez, for example, introduced legislation that would ban uranium imports from Russia. He also introduced the “Rare Act,” which would develop a “reliable domestic supply of critical minerals, rare earth elements and to uncouple our supply lines and dependence on China for national security manufacturing raw materials.”

This suggests a reason why Gonzalez didn’t report the stock Freeport-McMoRan transaction on time. And, that’s because, from the outside looking in, this certainly appears to border on insider trading.

What now?

The simple fact is that dozens of members of Congress have been accused of similar violations, yet we have not seen anyone punished. So, it will likely only continue to happen.

Some lawmakers are looking to pass legislation that would ban members of Congress from trading stock altogether. It doesn’t appear, though, to be the most popular piece of legislation in U.S. Congress, and for an obvious reason – it goes against the legislators’ interests.

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