by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
A right-leaning watchdog group is releasing a list on Thursday compiling what it alleges are the foremost examples of members of Congress violating federal ethics laws in 2022.
The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust lists seven instances of alleged member violations, as well as two alleged Biden administration official violations in the document, which was first shared with the Washington Examiner. Those listed, who are all Democrats, often involved themselves in financial activities that are unbecoming of a public official and illegal, according to FACT.
“Unfortunately this year the underlying theme of FACT’s complaints involve numerous government officials and their personal financial holdings,” Kendra Arnold, FACT’s executive director, told the Washington Examiner. “As you can see in the complaints in our list these involve the important and basic ethics laws that require disclosure and avoidance of conflicts of interest.”
“Since these rules are fundamental and the violations are serious we hope this trend does not continue into 2023,” she added.
The first alleged violation listed in FACT’s document was by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). The congressman’s wife bought shares of the pharmaceutical company Amgen before the the Department of Health and Human Services announced it was paying Amgen $290 million for drug supplies, the Washington Examiner first reported.
But since Blumenauer sits on the health subcommittee for the Ways and Means Committee, which oversees the HHS, FACT filed a complaint in November to the Office of Congressional Ethics. The watchdog sought to know whether Blumenauer violated ethics rules by gaining access to non-public information on the subcommittee, and possibly using the information to his advantage.
After Blumenauer, FACT lists Rep. Kathy Manning (D-NC), who, in February, disclosed 51 stock trades worth up to $1.25 million past the required federal deadline. Some of these trades were in tech stocks like Meta, Amazon, Netflix, and Nvidia, which have fluctuated based on legislative activity, and in some cases in connection to antitrust measures.