Dem Cindy Axne Flip-Flops on Banning Congressional Members Trading Stocks


Vulnerable Rep. Cindy Axne, the only remaining congressional Democrat from Iowa, flip-flopped on banning members of Congress from trading stocks after failing to disclose hundreds of thousands of dollars in stock trades and previously coming out against the ban.

Axne, who has had stocks traded extensively in her name since assuming office, now “firmly believe[s] there should be a ban on public officials directing trades on individual stocks,” reversing course one day after critics hammered her for having reservations banning members of Congress from trading stocks.

“I have never personally executed or directed stock trades while in Congress, and I firmly believe there should be a ban on public officials directing trades on individual stocks,” Axne said to the New York Times on Friday.

After having conversations with some of her colleagues, Axne stated that she wants to look into ways to “institute” members from trading stocks without “creating the unintended consequence of forcing the liquidation of retirement or college savings accounts which aren’t actively managed in order to be a Member of Congress.”

As a member of Congress, Axne said she is now “strongly in favor of tougher and clearer guardrails for public officials.” In her statement, Axne noted that she is in favor of having: “increased penalties, and updated restrictions to help root out corruption, hold wrongdoers accountable, and improve confidence that our government is working in the public interest not its own.”

“Swamp politician Cindy Axne is only reversing her position on congressional stock trading because it became politically untenable after she was caught failing to disclose over half a million dollars in stock trades,” stated the National Republican Congressional Committee Spokesman Mike Berg.

Last year, the ethics watchdog Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed against her, calling for an investigation into her failure to report stock transactions within the allotted time members have to disclose stock transactions, according to the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act of 2012. Breitbart News wrote last year:

The complaint stated that in 2019 and 2020, Axne “appears to have purchased and sold more than 40 assets with a total value ranging from approximately $43,043 to $645,000 without disclosing the transactions,” noting that while the congresswoman “disclosed the ownership of these assets on her annual financial disclosures” she allegedly “did not file any corresponding periodic transaction reports (‘PTRs’).”

Axne’s asset changes happened to occur when the congresswoman sat on the House Committee on Financial Services, and the complaint noted that her assets included Visa, Mastercard, Wells Fargo, and SS&C Technology Holdings. CLC said that due to her alleged lack of PTRs, the ethics office should investigate to “determine whether the differences in Rep. Axne’s 2019 and 2020 reports are the result of reportable transactions,” which is a violation of the STOCK Act and the House rules.

The STOCK Act requires members to file periodic financial disclosure reports when stock transactions from themselves or their spouses are over $1,000. Every member must do so within 30 to 45 days of the transaction, which the ethics complaint alleged that she did not do.

The STOCK Act passed Congress and was signed into law in 2012 after getting substantial bipartisan support in both chambers. The legislation was introduced and quickly signed into law, due to Breitbart News senior contributor Peter Schweizer exposing corruption in the highest echelons of elected life, in his 2011 release of Throw Them All Out.

Schweizer’s book exposed many elected officials, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). The book revealed the corruption concerns among Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill, forcing Congress to adopt the STOCK Act that implemented stricter reporting and ethics requirements.

“Maybe Axne will go work on Wall Street after voters fire her in November,” Berg added.

Axne is a vulnerable member, whom Republicans seek to unseat in the upcoming midterm elections.

Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter.

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