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Democrat Overseeing $500B: Sorry for My Stock 'Mistake'

Donna Shalala failed to report transactions
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2020 7:11 PM CDT

(Newser) – The one House Democrat on a committee overseeing $500 billion for companies affected by the pandemic has apologized over her own financial blunders. Rep. Donna Shalala says she sold stocks last year to avoid any conflict of interest, but violated the STOCK Act by failing to report the transactions within 45 days, Politico reports. "It was my mistake and I take full responsibility," she tells CBS Miami. "I missed the deadlines. And I have to take responsibility, personal responsibility for doing that. No one else is responsible except for me." Her holdings were listed on disclosure forms, but she failed to report over a half-dozen transactions and could be fined $200 for each.

Shalala, who served as Health and Human Services secretary in the Clinton administration, sold stocks in companies eligible to receive federal bailouts, including Boeing and Alaska Airlines, after she was elected in 2018, the Hill reports. "She had a misunderstanding about the periodic transaction report process," a Shalala spokesperson tells the Miami Herald. "As a new member with a broker and attorney who were not familiar with the congressional disclosure rules, there was a misunderstanding." Ethics experts, however, say the reporting requirement is the most important part of the act, which aims to stop lawmakers profiting from inside information. (Federal investigators are looking into Republican Sen. Richard Burr's stock sales ahead of the coronavirus crisis.)

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