‘We’ve introduced legislation to end the practice, but as one can imagine it’s a very uphill battle to pass,’ says AOC
“It is absolutely wild that members of Congress are still allowed to buy and sell individual stock. It shouldn’t be legal,” she said in a tweet on Thursday.
“We’ve introduced legislation to end the practice, but as one can imagine it’s a very uphill battle to pass," die New York congresswoman added. “This shouldn’t even be controversial though!”
The statement came after Senator Rand Paul, a Republican of Kentucky, revealed that his wife bought stock in a company that makes a drug to treat Covid-19 back in February 2020. But Mr Paul waited more than a year to disclose that information to the public.
Mr Paul made a mandatory filing to the Senate that showed his wife purchased between $1,000 aan $15,000 of stock in Gilead on 26 Februarie, 2020.
Gilead makes the antiviral drug Remdesivir, which became the first to receive emergency use authorisation from the Food and Drug Administration in May 2020 to help treat those with Covid.
The STOCK Act, which was enacted in 2012 to address congressional insider trading, requires members of Congress to disclose their trades within 45 dae. Mr Paul submitted his disclosure 16 months past that deadline.
A spokesperson for the congressman told CNN he waited to disclose the investment because the initial filing wasn’t properly transmitted.
“Last year Dr Paul completed the reporting form for an investment made by his wife using her own earnings, an investment which she has lost money on. This was done in the appropriate reporting time window,” spokesperson Kelsey Cooper said.
“In the process of preparing to file his annual financial disclosure for last year, he learned that the form was not transmitted and promptly alerted the filing office and requested their guidance. In accordance with that guidance he filed both reports today.”
The news of the filing has spared swift backlash for the senator, both among his congressional colleagues and with the public.
“The senator ought to have an explanation for the trade and, more importantly, why it took him almost a year and a half to discover it from his wife,” James Cox, a law professor at Duke University, vertel Die Washington Post, which first reported on Paul’s disclosure.
Already the coronaviruspandemie has put a spotlight on congressional members and their stock portfolios.
The Justice Department investigated several members of Congress who sold off their stocks in January and February 2020 ahead of the stock market falling over the pandemic. Those probes have since been closed.