Has the time for lawmakers to stop trading stocks due to a huge potential for misuse come?


Lawmakers in Congress are under a rule that asks them to disclose their buying and selling of stocks within 45 days of trade. However, many lawmakers are ignoring the rules and filing stock disclosures weeks or months after the transactions were completed. The rules were created to show transparency but they are being flouted across lines, in a truly bipartisan manner. Most often, these lawmakers pay a fine of $200 for late filing.


The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act or the STOP Act was passed in Congress under the then president Barack Obama on April 4, 2012. It was passed to prevent insider trading and conflicts of interest.


Few major outlets including NPR, LegiStorm, Forbes, Business Insider, The Daily Beast and more have reported that 30 members of Congress have failed to report their trades as per the STOP Act. They offer reasons including


  • clerical errors
  • accounting mistakes
  • Ignorance of the law.


Lawmakers who break this law face a fine of $200 which is sometimes waived by the ethics committee officials or by the House.


The lawmakers who have failed to disclose trading of stocks by themselves or close family members including spouses and children are




Sen. Tommy Tubervile — Alabama

Sen. Rand Paul — Kentucky

Rep. Pat Fallon — Texas

Rep. Diana Harshbarger — Tennessee

Rep. Blake Moore — Texas

Rep. Dan Crenshaw — Texas

Rep. Kevin Hern — Oklahoma

Rep. Brian Mast — Florida

Rep. August Pfluger — Texas

Rep.Steve Chabot — Ohio

Rep. Chris Jacobs — New York

Rep. Warren Davidson — Ohio

Rep. Lance Gooden — Texas

Rep. Dan Meuser — Pennsylvania




Sen. Dianne Feinstein — California

Sen. Mark Kelly — Arizona

Rep. Tom Malinowski — New Jersey

Rep. Katherine Clark — Massachusetts

Rep. Susie Lee — Nevada

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz — Florida

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney — New York

Rep. Lori Trahan — Massachusetts

Rep. Kathy Castor — Florida

Rep. Cheri Bustos — Illinois

Rep. Bobby Scott  — Virginia

Rep. Ed Perlmutter — Colorado

Rep. Tom Suozzi — New York

Rep. Cindy Axne —Iowa

Del.Michael San Nicolas — Guam


Some lawmakers, watchdogs and advocacy groups believe that the law has to be changed and all trading should be stopped and stocks sold within six months after lawmakers is elected. Senator Jeff Merkley called the STOCK Act pretty much useless, although he had voted for it.


Kedric Payne, the general counsel for the Campaign Legal Center, has filed ethics complaints against a few of the lawmakers across parties and hopes to file more. The watchdog is a group promoting transparency in government. Payne also said that many lawmakers are circumventing the STOCK Act.

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