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A Republican congressman from Colorado is the latest to violate a federal conflict-of-interest and transparency law

Rep. Doug LambornRep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado arrives for the House Republican Conference meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018.

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

  • A Republican congressman from Colorado has violated the federal STOCK Act.
  • Rep. Doug Lamborn and his wife traded stocks valued at up to $120,000 but was months late disclosing them.
  • An effort in Congress to ban lawmakers from trading stocks as stalled.

A Republican congressman from Colorado is the latest to violate a federal conflict-of-interest and transparency law, an Insider review of congressional records shows.

Rep. Doug Lamborn, a congressman since 2007, violated the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012, which in part requires members of Congress to disclose within 45 days any individual stock trades they’ve made for themselves, spouses, or dependent children.

In August, Lamborn and his wife traded stock worth between $68,000 and $120,000 in NetApp, a data management company. (Lawmakers are only required to report the value of their trades in broad ranges.)

Lamborn waited, however, until well after the 45-day deadline for congressional members to report the trades — the Office of the Clerk of the US House processed the financial disclosure on December 6.

NetApp has a modest lobbying presence in Washington, DC, typically spending in the five- or low six-figure range on influence efforts, according to nonpartisan research organization OpenSecrets.

In a statement, Lamborn Communications Director Cassandra Sebastian said the tardy disclosure was simply a mistake.

“During the recent political campaign, Congressman Lamborn mistakenly lost track of filing deadlines,” Sebastian said. “When recently filing a timely report, he realized the mistake and proactively self-reported and paid the necessary fine. Congressman Lamborn strives to file disclosures accurately and on time and has a history of doing so. All disclosures are currently up to date.”

The standard fine for a late disclosure of this sort is $200, per House rules.

In all, 77 members of Congress — Democrats and Republicans, leaders and back-benchers — have violated the STOCK Act since Insider and other publications began tracking instances of violations in 2021. 

In January, Lamborn found himself the subject of an unrelated ethics matter: the Office of Congressional Ethics alleged that Lamborn previously misused official resources. The independent office’s board said it found “substantial” evidence that Lamborn’s staffers were asked to do chores for his family, such as moving furniture for his wife and helping his son with federal job interviews.

Lamborn denied the OCE’s allegations, saying they were biased and pushed by a “disgruntled” staffer, and his lawyers said that “no ethical violation has occurred.”

The House Committee on Ethics has acknowledged that it is reviewing the matter but has not publicly revealed its findings or made any public ruling.

A Congress in conflict

Since Insider published its “Conflicted Congress” investigative project in late 2021, which revealed several conflicts of interest and violations of federal disclosure laws by numerous members of Congress, lawmakers have begun debating whether they and their immediate family should be able to trade individual stocks at all.

Despite a bipartisan push for a Congressional stock trading ban, Democratic leadership, which introduced its own stock-ban bill among a series of other similar bills from members of Congress, punted a vote on it until after the 2022 midterm elections. Senate Democrats have also put a pause on their efforts as well.

And with Congress now back in session, it appears highly unlikely that any votes will occur on any stock-ban bills before the legislative term ends and Republicans take control of the House in January.

Prior to the midterm elections, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he was open to the idea of banning members of Congress from trading, however, he’s been silent on the topic since it became clear that Republicans will control the House next legislative term. 

Read the original article on Business Insider