Political corruption has been in the news for as long as politics has existed. In the United States, people often criticize the vast amounts of wealth that politicians, especially those at the federal level, are able to amass. In 2005, the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act was first introduced after the publication of an academic study which showed that the investments of members of Congress significantly outperformed other investment portfolios.
The STOCK Act was finally passed in 2012 and requires members of Congress and their staff to disclose any changes in investments that occur in their portfolios or in the portfolios of their spouses or dependents within 45 days of the change. It was intended to increase transparency and prevent insider trading, although the legislation also provides a set of rules that are not overseen by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Although the original legislation required disclosures to be posted online, this clause was amended in 2013, allowing online disclosures to occur later – in theory, to prevent identity theft of elected officials. The legislation has been largely ignored by many members of Congress since, with an Insider investigation finding that 182 congressional officials violated the STOCK Act in December 2021. STOCK law enforcement is notoriously secretive and difficult to administer, as it is outside the jurisdiction of the SEC.
Using a database compiled by Insider from congressional disclosure reports, Stacker ranked current Republican politicians in Congress based on their estimated total net worth. Estimated values were taken from documents uploaded by each member of Congress’ office for 2020, sometimes handwritten, and refer to the lower end of the estimated value range for each asset.
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