A recent investigation by The New York Times disclosed that 97 current members of Congress reported that they, their spouses or their dependent children traded financial assets within companies directly impacted by their congressional work, including three Cornell alumni — Rep. Katherine M. Clark ’89 (D-Mass.), Rep. Dan Meuser ’88 (R-Pa.) and Rep. Kurt Schrader ’73 (D-Ore.).
Clark, who serves as assistant speaker of the House, sits on the Congressional Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies. The committee decides funding for the Department of Health and Human Services, which has negotiated contracts with several health care companies in which Clark’s husband traded stocks.
The investigation noted the purchase of two shares of Hologic in 2020, about a week before the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Defense awarded the company a $119 million COVID-19 testing contract. Several days after the contract’s announcement, the shares were sold.
In a statement to The Times, Clark’s office said that she “supports strengthening current rules to ban individual stock trades directed by members of Congress during their tenure and measures to reduce even the appearance of a conflict of interest.”
Clark’s office also told The Times that she and her husband do not personally trade stocks within their retirement accounts, and that they comply with all disclosure requirements.
Meuser reported that his children traded in Roche and AbbVie, two pharmaceutical companies, in 2019 and 2020. During the time, he was serving on the House Committee on Education and Labor, which has worked to develop drug pricing legislation.
Schrader reported purchasing shares of UnitedHealth Group while the House Energy and Commerce committee, on which he served at the time, was investigating the company for surprise billing practices.
The Times investigation also found 31 other potential conflicts regarding Schrader’s trades and the committees on which he has served — the Energy and Commerce Subcommittees on Communication and Technology, Energy and Health.
Schrader’s financial advisers make trades on his behalf without consulting him, a spokesperson for Schrader told The Times.
Clark, Meuser and Schrader’s offices did not respond to The Sun’s requests for comment by the time of publication.