One-hundred-thirty members of Congress or their families have traded stocks collectively worth hundreds of millions of dollars in companies lobbying on bills that came before their committees, a practice that is permitted under current ethics rules, a Washington Post analysis has found.The Post also reports on the clear hypocrisy:
The lawmakers bought and sold a total of between $85 million and $218 million in 323 companies registered to lobby on legislation that appeared before them, according to an examination of all 45,000 individual congressional stock transactions contained in computerized financial disclosure data from 2007 to 2010.
Almost one in every eight trades — 5,531 — intersected with legislation. The 130 lawmakers traded stocks or bonds in companies as bills passed through their committees or while Congress was still considering the legislation. The party affiliation of the lawmakers was almost evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, 68 to 62.
Congress forbids top administration officials, for instance, from trading stocks in industries they oversee and can influence. The lawmakers, by contrast, can still invest in firms even as they create laws that can affect the bottom line of the companies.An old Chinese proverb says "become a government official, get rich." Our Congress shows that that is still true.
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