These 7 members of Congress who violated a federal conflict-of-interest law lost their elections
- Seven members of Congress who violated the STOCK Act lost their races in the 2022 midterm elections.
- Three of the members of Congress lost in their primary races.
As the dust settles from the 2022 midterm elections, it appears that seven members of Congress who violated a federal conflict-of-interest law lost their elections.
In 2012, Congress passed the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, known as the STOCK Act, in an attempt to curb insider trading and conflicts of interest by lawmakers. A key section of the law requires members of Congress to publicly disclose stock trades made by themselves, a dependent child, or their spouse within 45 days of making the trade.
And of the 75 members of Congress who violated the STOCK Act, seven lost their elections in 2022, including three who lost in the primary election phase, although it's not clear what role their stock-trading activities contributed to their losses:
- Rep. Madison Cawthorn, a Republican of North Carolina
- Rep. Mo Brooks, a Republican of Alabama who left his district to run for an open Senate seat
- Rep. Kurt Schrader, a Democrat of Oregon
Four other members of Congress lost in the general election:
- Rep. Tom Malinowski, a Democrat of New Jersey
- Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, a Democrat of New York
- Rep. Steve Chabot, a Republican of Ohio
- Rep. Cindy Axne, a Democrat of Iowa
Members of Congress — Republicans and Democrats alike — began to call out for higher restrictions on congressional stock trading after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a December 2021 press conference that lawmakers should be able to trade stocks, as "we are a free-market economy."
After backlash, she ultimately acquiesced to the idea of potentially banning members of Congress from trading stocks, saying "if members want to do that, I'm okay with that."
Since then, both Republicans and Democrats have drafted legislation with the goal of stopping members of Congress from trading stocks, though a bill relating to congressional stock trading has yet to be voted on in the House nor the Senate.
The push to ban lawmakers from trading received a new ally on November 15, 2022, when former President Donald Trump said in his announcement to run for president that he supported a ban.
"We want a ban on members of Congress getting rich by trading stocks on insider information," he said.
Some Senate Democrats, however, were unamused with Trump's endorsement of a possible ban, according to a report from Insider.
"I'm just so impressed that Donald Trump is giving us an ethical standard to live by," Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin said.
Others, like Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley, welcomed Trump's endorsement.
"I'm pleased to hear Trump supports a ban on congressional stock trading," Merkley said in an email. "And I encourage my Republican colleagues to join this effort."
Warren Rojas contributed reporting
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