Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL), who was chosen by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to lead the COVID-19 Congressional Oversight Commission, failed to publicly report the stock sales she made in 2019, as required by the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act.
Per the American Prospect, her portfolio included stocks in various large banks, aircraft companies, oil firms and other businesses that are experiencing economic turmoil due to the COVID-19 outbreak and are therefore seeking relief from the government’s sweeping bailout programs that Shalala has been charged with supervising.
Though her staff said she had sold the stocks last year, they admitted to the Miami Herald on Tuesday that the Florida Democrat did not make the transactions public, as the STOCK Act requires members of Congress to do.
Carlos Condarco, Shalala’s press secretary, chalked the violation up to a simple error.
“She had a misunderstanding about the periodic transaction report process and her need to report the sale of these stocks while preparing a blind trust,” Condarco told the Herald. “As a new member with a broker and attorney who were not familiar with the congressional disclosure rules, there was a misunderstanding.”
Drew Hammill, Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, told TPM in an emailed statement that Shalala has the speaker’s “complete confidence.”
“Rep. Shalala has taken responsibility for her mistake in missing filings required under the STOCK Act and has been working the Ethics Committee to address this issue since she became aware of it,” Hammill said.