International Business Times: Why Are Politicians Allowed To Vote On A Bill They Profit From?

Jay Cassano
Dec 21, 2017
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Members of Congress who voted to pass the tax reform bill could financially benefit from it, as International Business Times has reported. 

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“Lawmakers are not supposed to vote on something that specifically affects their financial interest,” Larry Noble, general counsel at the non-partisan Campaign Legal Center, told IBT. “But the ethics committees have said that that doesn’t apply if what you’re voting on is a law that affects a broad number of people or a group.”

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“Because tax bills affect almost everybody, you don’t have to recuse yourself from voting on a tax bill just because it affects you,” Noble said.

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“This case and your reporting shows where the problems come up because there are specific provisions in a bill that may have a disproportionate benefit to certain members of Congress who are voting on it,” said Noble.

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“There was probably a point during secret negotiations or during conference when some members may have known that certain things were going to end up in the bill before anyone else,” said Noble. “And if you went out and bought a position in a real estate LLC then that would arguably violate the STOCK Act. But once it’s public information then there’s no issue with the STOCK Act.”

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