AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
- 51 US senators and their spouses have up to $96 million bought business stocks, according to an analysis by Sludge and the Guardian, raising conflict of interest concerns.
- Sen. Richard Shelby, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, and Sen. Jacky Rosen own substantial quantities of stock in business they supervise.
- Together, 10 members of the Senate banking committee hold up to $8 million worth of stock in financing, securities, and realty companies.
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Fifty-one United States senators and their spouses have up to $96 million bought business stocks, raising dispute of interest issues due to the fact that a lot of them might pass laws that assist those businesses and therefore enrich themselves.
An analysis by Sludge and the Guardian– a deep dive you can have a look at here— took a look at the senators’ disclosed stakes amounting to $28 million to $96 million across financing, defense, health, interactions and electronics, and energy and natural resources companies.
Members of Congress aren’t legally disallowed from owning stock in business they manage, but having a beneficial interest in their success could affect their impartiality and willingness to pass laws that harm those organisations.
Legislators are under mounting pressure to punish predatory financing, abuse of user information, environment change, sweetheart military offers, prescription drug rates and the opioid crisis. Senators’ stakes in banks, tech giants, fossil-fuel business, defense contractors, and health care giants could temper their desire to take on those concerns.
The median financial investment range was in between $100,000 and $365,000, Sludge and the Guardian said. The most popular stocks consisted of Apple, Microsoft, Google-owner Alphabet, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and Wells Fargo. The greatest single financial investment was Sen. John Hoeven’s stake in Westbrand– a private holding company for banks– which deserves in between $5 million and $25 million.
Several legislators hold shares in companies they supervise, the analysis found. Sen. Richard Shelby owns between $1 million and $5 million worth of stock in Tuscaloosa Title Business, a private property insurance firm, in spite of resting on Senate real estate and insurance subcommittees. Nine other members of the Senate banking committee hold monetary stocks including Sen. Doug Jones, Sen. John Kennedy, and Sen. Robert Menendez.
The pattern extends beyond banking. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito owns substantial stakes in Microsoft, Intel, AT&T, and Verizon, despite resting on technology and consumer security subcommittees. Sen. Jacky Rosen, who also sits on those subcommittees, owns up to $480,000 worth of Amazon, AT&T, and Adobe stock.