Ocasio-Cortez admits missing extended deadline to file required annual financial disclosure

Federal law requires all members of Congress to file an annual financial disclosure form in May in the interest of being fully transparent with their constituents and the American public more broadly about their own financial situation.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has not yet filed her annual disclosure, has already missed an extension deadline, and a statement from her office suggested that she is in no real hurry to comply with the mandate, the Washington Examiner reported.

Instead, a spokesperson for the congresswoman revealed that she planned to take full advantage of an additional grace period after the filing deadline before a late filing penalty is assessed by the House Ethics Committee.

Lauren Hitt, the communications director for Ocasio-Cortez, told the Examiner, “The committee provides a 30-day grace period before fines are levied. The congresswoman plans to file before the period expires.”

Missing deadlines

According to the Ethics Committee’s general information webpage, the annual financial disclosure statements for 2021 were due no later than May 16, though extensions on that deadline were available to all members.

On May 9, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez filed for and received a 90-day extension on the deadline for her annual financial disclosure, which set a new due date of August 13.

That new due date has obviously already passed without the congresswoman’s compliance, but as noted by her spokeswoman, she is now taking advantage of the extra 30 days on top of the three-month extension before eventually submitting the required disclosure filing.

Of course, one reason why Ocasio-Cortez has shown little impetus to meet those deadlines is the fact that the penalty she faces for missing the due date — and the 30-day grace period — is a rather paltry $200 fine, according to the Ethics Committee’s site.

Not the first time

The annual financial disclosure statements are all made publicly available by the House Clerk, and the Examiner noted that Rep. Ocasio-Cortez was one of only about 10 members of Congress who have yet to file their required disclosures.

The outlet further pointed out that this is not the first time that the New York congresswoman has missed both the normal deadline as well as an extended deadline, as she also made full use of the 30-day grace period in 2020 and finally filed her disclosure for 2019 on the last day possible before a fine would have been issued.

“Not only is she an admitted scofflaw — she’s a repeat offender,” Paul Kamenar, an attorney for the conservative watchdog group National Legal and Policy Center, told the Examiner. “One must wonder whether she also files her income tax returns past the deadlines.”

He added, “Just like AOC did in 2020 when she filed her 2019 disclosure report 30 days late after the 90-day extension, she’s at it again, blowing off the deadline for filing her 2021 filing that was due on Aug. 13.”

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