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AOC Violates Congressional Financial Disclosure Rules

Democrat Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has missed the House Ethics Committee’s financial disclosure deadline of August 13 for the second time in her congressional career. Ocasio-Cortez, aware of the Office of Congressional Ethics’ August 13 deadline, is not bothered as she mentions that the committee has a 30-day grace period.  

Her spokesperson said, “The Committee provides a 30-day grace period before fines are levied. The Congresswoman plans to file before the period expires.” Moreso, she would only be facing a mere penalty of $200 if she were to miss the 30-day grace period.

As outlined in Title I of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, the documents are expected to be filed with the Clerk of the House. According to the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives, “Financial Disclosure Reports include information about the source, type, amount, or value of the incomes of Members, officers, certain employees of the U.S. House of Representatives and related offices, and candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives.”

However, this democrat lawmaker does not mind leaving the public in the dark about her finances. As required by federal law, Ocasio-Cortez feels no rush to file her disclosure because she can wait another 20 days before risking a fine.

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This is not the first time the lawmaker has refused to file her financial disclosures when due. In 2019, she filed her financial disclosure 30 days late in September 2020, narrowly escaping the Ethics Committee fine. This time, she and nine other representatives failed to file their 2021 financial disclosures in due time. They include Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee (D-TX) and Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI).

National Legal and Policy Center attorney Paul Kamenar gave his two cents regarding the lawmaker’s actions. He said, “Not only is she an admitted scofflaw — she’s a repeat offender. One must wonder whether she also files her income tax returns past the deadlines.”

He added, “Just like AOC did in 2020 when she filed her 2019 disclosure report 30 days late after the 90-day extension, she’s at it again, blowing off the deadline for filing her 2021 filing that was due on August 13.”

This repeated attitude of the lawmaker opposes her prior statements concerning her colleague’s finances. She has repeatedly pushed to ban members of Congress from trading stocks. She had opined that even the perception that lawmakers are trading on insider information gotten from their position was an existential threat to democracy.

In a press conference in April, she called for a congressional stock-trading ban. She said, “We are also tackling a crisis of faith in our institutions in the United States, and that exploitation of that crisis of faith is a direct threat to our democracy,” “It is our responsibility to ensure that we eliminate, again, that perception of impropriety because it is these perceptions that can be exploited to undermine our most sacred institutions,” she added.

Last year, she disclosed that her net worth was between $3,000 and $45,000 as of 2020 and claimed to own no stocks. Kamenar suggested that she could be delaying filing her financial disclosure because of concerns about her appearance at the Met Gala last year. The lawmaker had graced the event wearing a designer dress that featured the phrase “Tax the Rich.”

The NLPC filed a complaint to the Office of Congressional Ethics in September 2021 alleging that Ocasio-Cortez accepted impermissible gifts related to the event. This included her designer dress, limo rides, and professional hair expenses which are expected to be featured in her annual disclosure, legal or not.