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But what many saw as a scandal, others saw as an opportunity. Conaway added more shares the following week. In the pursuit of wealth, even obvious conflicts of interest are routinely ignored by members who feast on daily trades. Long, for instance, serves on a committee overseeing Obamacare, and Conaway is a deputy House whip. The health care lawmakers who invested in Innate Immunotherapeutics are hardly alone in trading in companies that have a major interest in federal legislation, according to a three-month investigation and examination of all stock trades by members of Congress.
POLITICO found that 28 House members and six senators each traded more than stocks in the past two years, placing them in the potential cross hairs of a conflict of interest on a regular basis. And a handful of lawmakers, some of them frequent traders and some not, disproportionately trade in companies that also have an interest in their work on Capitol Hill.
House and Senate members who are active traders insist their buying and selling is a normal part of managing their finances, as with any American who wants to save for retirement or put their kids through school.
The clear majority of lawmakers avoid potential conflicts of interest by buying mutual funds, putting their portfolios in blind trusts or simply staying out of finding an online broker for day trading indiana stock market. Meanwhile, the lawmakers who are active in stock trading conducted a total of more than 21, trades during the past two years, but a small group of very wealthy lawmakers accounted for a significant share of those trades.
Mike McCaul — whose wife, Linda, is the daughter of Clear Channel communications founder Lowry Mays — reported approximately 7, stock transactions in an array of industries over the two-year period. Schrader has made close to stock trades over the past two years. In some cases, these very wealthy lawmakers own significant stakes in private companies that are affected by their legislative work.
Hal Rogers traded dozens of stocks while serving as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, which affects a broad array of policy areas. At the time the bill was passed, many thought the simple fear finding an online broker for day trading indiana exposure and political embarrassment would stop the conflicts of interest.
Tim Walz, an early supporter of the Stock Act who does not himself trade stocks. In the months leading up to the vote, more than 1, lobbyists flocked to Capitol Hill to make their case for what should be included in the legislative package. It was a rare opportunity to dramatically increase the amount of federal money going into pharmaceuticals.
It was also, as it turned out, a time when some of the members who contributed to the writing of the bill boosted their own portfolios of drug stocks, POLITICO found. Whitehouse, Collins, Price and Fleischmann all invested in pharmaceutical companies over the months that the bill was being pulled together. Price traded and held multiple medical stocks, including McKesson, while contributing to the 21st Century Cures Act.
Collins finding an online broker for day trading indiana on the boards of multiple medical companies and bought and sold health care stocks while authoring parts of the bill. Whitehouse, the veteran Democrat on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, began a series of purchases in health care stocks related to the bill in mid-November, through his own accounts and family accounts. At the time, negotiators were wrestling over the final version of 21st Century Cures and hoping to vote on it in a matter of weeks.
Eager to battle prescription-drug addiction in his home state of Rhode Island, Whitehouse pushed leaders to include funding to fight opioid abuse, as well as health IT legislation. Ten days before lawmakers announced their breakthrough agreement on the bill, Whitehouse, through his and his family's accounts, bought shares in Gilead Sciences, Abbott Laboratories and McKesson, a pharmaceutical and health IT company.
It was the third time that fall that he finding an online broker for day trading indiana bought McKesson shares. Health care negotiators released the final version of 21st Century Cures on a Friday. The finding an online broker for day trading indiana Monday, Whitehouse purchased more stock in Gilead, as finding an online broker for day trading indiana as shares of the pharmaceutical company Amgen.
In just over a week — with lawmakers racing against the December recess — the bill was approved by Congress. Schrader, of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, also said he did not personally direct his investments.
There is a clear procedure to do so, and eight members — including such veteran lawmakers as Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, and Orrin Hatch, Republican of Utah — have taken the step. It requires hiring a manager for the trust, drawing up paperwork and submitting it to the House or Senate ethics committee. Once the blind trust is approved, the trustee takes over the fund and, over time, makes decisions on buying and selling assets.
If members choose not to set up a blind trust, ethics specialists say, their claims of not being involved in their investments inevitably ring hollow. In such investments, fund managers make the decisions to buy and sell.
Now, after seeing how members are continuing to trade stocks despite the potential conflicts of interest, ethics specialists are convinced there need to be tougher laws. Indeed, if Whitehouse, Collins or Fleischmann worked at the White House or a federal agency, they could face an investigation simply for working on the health care bill while holding stocks that had an interest in the bill — regardless of whether those holdings had any effect on their decisions.
When the need for tougher conflict-of-interest laws has been broached in the past, lawmakers have often offered two rationales for opposing them: It would be difficult to avoid conflicts of interest given the range of interests that are affected by legislation, finding an online broker for day trading indiana disclosures would have the necessary deterrent effect. When former Washington state Democratic Rep. Others said it would be too burdensome to have to file all their trades with the ethics offices.
Baird saw another reason why lawmakers opposed the plan: He proposed requiring lawmakers to quickly disclose their stock trades, and mandating that political intelligence operatives — who specialize in relaying Capitol Hill information to Wall Street investors — register like lobbyists do. Its subjects included House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who had participated in a profitable IPO for Visa while Congress was considering legislation that would have hurt credit card companies.
Within days, lawmakers leapt into action and added their names as cosponsors by the dozen. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, keen to put new checks on Pelosi, joined reform-minded Democrats to lead the charge.
The Stock Act was swept into law by the following April. The final bill barred lawmakers from insider trading, as Baird had proposed, and required members to report all trades within 30 days. The political intelligence component was stripped from the bill by Cantor. Since its passage, the Stock Act appears to have deterred some lawmakers from making trades. So far, no one has been convicted finding an online broker for day trading indiana insider trading under the Stock Act.
And when the Securities and Exchange Commission sought to enforce the act in recent years, it ran up against sweeping opposition in Congress. That case involves a former Ways and Means Committee staff director, who allegedly leaked information that Medicare reimbursement rates were about to rise in The tip found its way to a political intelligence firm, Height Securities, which sent information to hedge funds that rushed to buy stock in Humana, a company that benefited from the rate hike.
When the SEC subpoenaed documents and interviews related to its investigation, House counsel refused to comply. That could effectively knock out the biggest deterrence to conflicts of interest. For example, during a trip to his home state of Illinois last January, Kinzinger, who has represented the exurbs of Finding an online broker for day trading indiana sincewent downtown to address a group of business executives.
His after-lunch topic was national security, a subject near and dear to his heart as a former Air Force pilot. The hosts of the luncheon — a small security and research firm called Prescient Edge — were soon to be of personal interest to Kinzinger, too: Meanwhile, the notion that members would police themselves closely because of fear of voter backlash has rarely materialized.
Especially in the House, a significant group of lawmakers represent safe districts where their reelection campaigns rarely grab headlines. Kinzinger, for one, ran unopposed in Corker, whose seat in red-state Tennessee is considered secure, has made a number finding an online broker for day trading indiana large stock trades over the years.
Three days after Obama signed the bill, Corker again bought Chesapeake Energy stock, which he soon sold at a profit. At the time, the possibility that other lawmakers might hear those calls and still buy stock in the same firm seemed beyond possibility.
The company has no approved drugs on the market and little name recognition in the U. Lamborn, Long and Culberson, three of the lawmakers who bought shares in the company, each said they heard of Innate Immunotherapeutics through public channels. Mullin's office did not respond to requests for comment. Lawmakers envisioned Google-like search data enabling voters to quickly pull up who had traded stocks ahead of market-moving events.
But Congress quietly stripped the data requirements out of the law a year after it was passed. Currently, the data is available online but not easily searchable. Experts like Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist at Public Citizen, think the idea should be resurrected — and that lawmakers should be required to disclose much more specific information about the value of their assets and trades.
Currently, they report trades within a wide dollar range. But the solution that would settle concern about conflicts of interest in the big picture, Holman and others argue, would be either to bar lawmakers from buying and selling stocks entirely, or require them to put their money into broad mutual or index funds.
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