- A Congressman in a Chicago suburb was nearly two months late in disclosing six digits in stock transactions.
- Congress is debating whether to ban lawmakers and their spouses from trading stock.
- Since 2021, 59 members of Congress have been found to have violated the Stock Act.
According to financial records reviewed by Insider, Democratic Representative Brad Schneider of Illinois violated a federal conflict of interest law by disclosing two individual stock trades nearly two months before the federal deadline.
Schneider said it had signed on December 10 to pet insurance company Trupanion Inc. Sold stock for between $50,001 and $100,000. On the same day, he joined Trupanion Inc. Donated between $50,001 to $100,000 of stock, which was jointly owned by his wife, Julie Dan. An anonymous donation.
Shares of Trupanion traded at $155.34 per share that day, near an all-time high. Its value has steadily declined since trading between $70 and $95 per share in recent days.
But the four-term congressman, whose district includes several northern Chicago suburbs, did not disclose his December transactions to Congress until March 17—the 45-day disclosure time mandated by the Stop Trading on Knowledge Act of 2012. After the limit, commonly known as the Stock Act.
Congress passed the Stocks Act a decade ago in an effort to avoid conflicts of interest among its members and provide the public with more information about how lawmakers invest their personal wealth.
“Rep. Schneider did not inadvertently hit the ‘Submit’ button when entering a stock transaction in December,” spokeswoman Maggie Harden told Insider in a statement. “They detected the error last week and immediately submitted the data and paid the relevant late fee. Now the mistake is completely resolved.”
The standard penalty for late financial disclosure is $200. But the Committee on House Ethics, which administers such fines, does not make public members of Congress paid — or non-paid. Harden volunteered how much Schneider paid and did not respond to a request to provide proof of payment.
Harden did not answer questions about which charity Schneider donated his shares to. Schneider’s wife, Julie Dann, is president of the Charles and Audrey Dann Charitable Foundation, a charity that exists to support the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, according to the charity’s most recent federal tax return.
Schneider’s late revelations come at a time when Congress is debating whether to ban federal lawmakers and potentially their immediate family members from trading in individual shares.
A House Administration committee hearing on the matter – delayed because Chairperson Zoe Lofgren contracted COVID-19 – is imminent, and dozens of lawmakers sponsored or co-sponsored several similar stock-banning bills. has done.
Lawmakers’ interest in pursuing stock trading reforms has deepened of late after Insider’s “Conflicted Congress” project in December found that dozens of lawmakers and at least 182 senior Congressional staffers failed to comply with the Stocks Act’s reporting requirements. had failed.
In addition to Schneider, Insider found in March alone that Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Democratic Representative Tom Suozzi of New York and Republican Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas violated the disclosure provisions of the Stock Act.
The “Conflicting Congress” also found several examples of conflicts of interest, including that four members of Congress or their spouses either currently or recently invested money in Russian companies when Russia invaded Ukraine. has done.
At least 19 members of Congress have invested in at least two defense contractors, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, which build missiles that Western nations are sending to Ukraine’s military.
Harden did not respond to questions about whether Schneider supports any of the many bills being considered by Congress that would limit or restrict lawmakers’ stock trades.
“The fact that members of Congress repeatedly fail to comply with the simple reporting requirements in the Stocks Act demonstrates why Congress’ stock trading reform is so important,” said senior legal counsel for the Campaign Legal Center, a non-profit. -Said the partisan watchdog organization, Delaney Marsko. “Voters have a right to know in real time what the financial interests of lawmakers are, and when the failure of a member to click a button means voters do not get that information, it is a big problem. If Parliamentarians were not allowed to trade in stocks in the first place, that would not be an issue.”