Lawmakers should be penalized more heavily for not disclosing their stock market trades within a 10-day time frame, Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Wis., a member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, said Saturday during an appearance on Newsmax's "Saturday Agenda."
"There should be greater penalties but, even more, there should be a lot more press scrutiny. I mean everybody knows that we spend money on things or give tax breaks on things that shouldn't get tax breaks, be it billions of dollars to the microchip companies, be it spending on defense projects that the military itself doesn't want, be it this Green Deal stuff, which is corporate welfare," said Grothman, who in 2018 introduced the Financial Transparency Act, which requires members of Congress to file reports to either the House or Senate Ethics Committee on transactions in stocks, bonds, commodities futures and other forms of securities no later than seven days after the transactions are completed.
The bill in March was referred to the House Committee on House Administration.
Currently, lawmakers are required to report stock trades within 45 days of a transaction under the STOCK Act, with fines for a first-time violator beginning at $200.
Grothman says more oversight is needed.
"I cannot remember any time in the last four years in which we had a hearing on this problem, and we should have a hearing on the problem. Until the mainstream media gets on board and politicians know that it can cost them their job, we might continue to have the problem," Grothman said.
His comments follow a New York Times report that found that 97 lawmakers or their family members bought or sold financial assets over a three-year span in industries that intersected with the work on committees on which they serve.
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