WASHINGTON, D.C. – New York democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is pushing legislation that would require congressional members, their families and high-level staff to disclose financial transactions any time they receive benefits from federal dollars.
They would have to report loans, agreements, contracts, grants and payments, not including salary, compensation or tax refunds. Her bill would also ban congressional members from trading individual stocks.
We asked the Senator if there was any one particular investigation that inspired her to pursue this bill, she told us it was after they learned some members of congress used pandemic relief funds to help keep their own businesses afloat, while others suffered.
“While that is legal, it’s not preferable and it’s going to create an appearance of impropriety by voters that members of congress are lining their own pockets,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. “So, I realized along with the Congresswoman we needed to update the Stock Act to include all federal benefits because we are writing the laws and we are writing the parameters of these programs and if members are writing these parameters to line their own pockets, that’s unethical.”
There’s a $200 to $500 dollar penalty for failing to file transaction reports in a timely manner.