A report by The Guardian and Sludge revealed that 51 senators have between $28.5 and $95.6 million invested in five different corporate sectors ranging from Big Tech to energy to manufacturing.
President Donald Trump has assailed Washington, D.C. as a “swamp” ran by a deep state who are controlled by special interest groups rather than concern for the welfare of the American people, and that sentiment appears to have been vindicated by the Guardian’s report last Thursday.
Via the Guardian:
Congressional financial disclosures present investments in dollar ranges, not exact amounts, so all data in this report comes in ranges, some very wide. The median stock investment range in the five sectors for the 51 senators is between $100,000 and $365,000, while the average range of the investments is between $551,000 and nearly $1,874,000.
Not only are the senators far wealthier than most of their constituents, but they’re in a prime position to increase their wealth via policymaking.
It’s not illegal for members of Congress to have personal financial stakes in the industries on which they legislate. But such investments raise questions about lawmakers’ motivations. If a representative on the House financial services committee owns hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of stock in Bank of America, how might this investment affect their questioning of Bank of America’s CEO in a hearing? Could it influence how they legislate and vote on banking issues?
In the joint investigation, Sludge and the Guardian acquired financial disclosure data that revealed investments in 338 companies, totaling.
Tech stocks were the most popular investment choice for the senators listed in the report:
While the financial sector has drawn the most investment dollars from senators, stocks in the internet and computer software and hardware industries are the most popular.
Fifteen senators own stock in Apple and in Microsoft; eleven are invested in Amazon and in Intel, and 10 own stock in Google’s parent company, Alphabet.
The issues of Big Tech censorship and lobbying influence in Washington have been particularly relevant during the Trump administration.
In 2017, President Trump signed legislation that imposed a five-year ban on domestic lobbying and banned administration officials from ever lobbying on behalf of a foreign government.