Congress Profiting from Legislation

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AP Images


Seventy-three members of Congress have “sponsored or co-sponsored legislation in recent years” that directly affects either their own or their family’s financial interests, reports the Washington Post.

The Post points to several examples.

Rep. Dennis Cardoza, a Democrat from California, secured a tax break for horse owners, bought horses, and then cosponsored a bill that gave tax breaks to horse race winnings.

The Post reports:

He said he did not think his work on the farm bill in 2008 presented a conflict, because he did not own any racehorses at the time. He said the bill he introduced after he began buying racehorses in 2009 would have “treated all bettors the same” and was aimed at helping the bettors, not the horse industry.

The Post did not report whether or not reducing the taxes on race winnings could benefit horse owners, too.

The Post also describes conflicts of interest in the actions of Rep. John Yarmuth (D., Ky.) whose brother owns a home health care business. Yarmuth himself has an investment worth up to $5 million in the company.

Yarmuth joined the Home Health Caucus and cosponsored “a handful of bills of interest to the industry,” writes the Post, which notes that he has also taken stances contrary to the interests of the home health care industry and inquired into his ethical responsibilities when he took office.

The Post outlines other instances of conflicts of interest, including legislation by Rep. Cynthia M. Lummis (R., Wyo.), Sen. Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.), and Rep. Mike Kelly (R., Pa.).