Our “Honorable” Members of Congress?

Republican Senator from North Carolina, Richard Burr (Caroline Brehman / CQ Appell, Inc via Getty Images)

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Rahm Emanuel, President Barack Obama’s chief of staff, once advised: “Never let a serious crisis end.”

Some members of Congress have taken this advice to an extreme by doing stock trades as the coronavirus pandemic wreaks national economic chaos. Senator Richard Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, sold over $ 1.7 million in stock after receiving private convention information on the magnitude and course of the pandemic. The senator dumped stocks in crowded industries: hotels, restaurants, shipping, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and healthcare. Mr. Burr has asked the Senate Ethics Committee to review his stock trading. This is in line with Al Capone’s request to review President Donald Trump’s tax returns.

In 2012, Congress passed the Congress Knowledge Trading Act (known as the Stock Corporation Act) to prohibit members from trading in non-public information derived from their legislative activities. Only three senators were against the corporation law. Mr. Burr was one of them.

However, his share sales were no deviation. Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler sold $ 1.28 to $ 3.1 million of shares in ExxonMobil and Auto Zone in the weeks after the Senate closedly informed of the pandemic, with share prices falling. But Ms. Loeffler Bought Shares in a company that sells telework software, Citrix

Senators James M. Inhofe, Diane Feinstein and David Purdue also bought and sold stocks during the pandemic.

Whether or not these members violated the German Stock Corporation Act, why were they on the stock exchange at all? Members of Congress, like Caesar’s wife, must be above suspicion to build public confidence that the government was not kidnapped by 1 percent of the 1 percent. As Plato’s allegory of the caves in The Republic teaches appearances are real. And if members of Congress speculate on the market while a growing section of the public is closed, treachery arises. H. The use of public offices for self-enrichment.

From Mark Anthony ‘s funeral speech in Julius CaesarSenator Burr is nevertheless an honorable person, just like his congressional cohorts are all, all honorable people.

But there are doubts about the second thought.

Members have repeatedly freed themselves of laws that apply to the rest of us. Examples of this are the Freedom of Information Act; the government in the Sunshine Act; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; the Ban on Conflicts of Interest under Federal Criminal Law, 18 U.S.C. 208; the Occupational Health and Safety Act; and the National Labor Relations Act. However, the authors of the constitution would be horrified.


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