Senators Richard Burr and Kelly Loeffler caught a lot of flak last week for their sales of stock made during a time when the Wuhan virus threat was front and center of media attention. Contrary to popular belief, these two weren’t the only elected officials to buy and sell stocks at sensitive moments during this crisis.
According to a POLITICO report, that several members of Congress “had traded shares at times or in industries that bore a relationship to the coronavirus threat.”
Several of the lawmakers who sold assets in the weeks approaching the market crash were California Congresswoman Susan Davis, who sold thousands of dollars of stock in Alaska Air and Royal Caribbean cruises.
A senior aide to Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell made a mid-January purchase of Moderna, Inc., a biotechnology company that had announced earlier that month it would begin working on a coronavirus vaccine. Additionally, an aide to Senator Jeanne Shaheen, who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, sold stocks in companies including Delta Airlines in late January. Then the aide proceeded to buy stock in Clorox, Inc., which makes bleach and sanitary wipes.
The trades demonstrate the privileged information members of Congress enjoy when it comes to stock trading.
“The reality is that if you work on the Hill, or you work in government, you have access to information that the public doesn’t have or, if they have it, they can’t always see the signal through the noise,” declared Meredith McGehee, executive director of the watchdog group Issue One. “If you’re on the HELP Committee, you’re going to grasp threats much faster than the general public. You see things much more clearly.”
The North Carolina Republican is one of several senators, including Loeffler, California Senator Dianne Feinstein, Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe, and Georgia Senator David Perdue, who sold off stock at the end of January and the start of February as the Senate was holding more Wuhan virus briefings.
POLITICO noted the following:
It’s illegal for lawmakers and aides to trade stocks based on private information. But they are allowed to buy and sell shares based on public information they absorb on Capitol Hill so long as they disclose those trades within 30 days. That permissive approach to buying and selling stocks — the executive branch has much stricter rules — has drawn criticism from watchdogs who argue the freedom to trade isn’t as important as the need for the public to trust Congress to act only on its behalf.
Other members of Congress are expected to make money off companies developing ways to combat the disease. West Virginia congressman Rob Wittman bought between $1,001 and $15,000 of stock in the pharmaceutical company AbbVie Inc., on February 27, 2020 the day the company issued a statement saying it had donated one of its antiviral drugs to China as an experimental option for combatting the Wuhan virus and that it was looking into a research collaboration on potential options for treatment.
Wittman’s office declared he “does not have any involvement in investment decisions for his financial portfolio” and mentioned how AbbVie shares have lost value ever since. The office then added that Wittman’s original AbbVie purchase was for $1,218.
Merrick Garland Suggests that Getting Rid of Lawsuit Protections is Not a Second Amendment Violation
Garland as AG will be a disaster for the right to bear arms.
If Merrick Garland is nominated as Attorney General, the Second Amendment is in big trouble.
Based on his comments at a Senate hearing on February 22, 2021, Garland made a suggestion that the repeal of lawsuit protections for gun manufacturers is not unconstitutional.
AWR Hawkins of Breitbart News reminded his readers that President Joe Biden campaigned on a platform of repealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), which shielded lawful gun manufacturers from lawsuits.
In a previous Breitbart News report, Biden spoke at an MSNBC forum in 2019 alongside gun control organizations such as March for Our Lives where he expressed his support for gun manufacturers to be subject to lawsuits.
At the speech, Biden suggested that the PLCC be repealed. He declared, “No other outfit in history has gotten this kind of protection” and asserted that the legal actions would bring about “change overnight.”
In a subsequent occasion on February 7, 2020, Breitbart News covered Biden’s remarks to a New Hampshire crowd, in which he stated that it was a “mistake” to shield firearms manufacturers from lawsuits. He continued, “The first thing I’m going to do as president is work to get rid of that.”
Later that month, Breitbart News recalled how Biden called out gun manufacturers at a South Carolina rally and boasted, “I’m going to take you down.”
According to a report by The Salt Lake Tribune, Utah Senator Mike Lee asked Garland about his views on removing protections for gun manufacturers. Garland responded, “I have not thought myself deeply about this. I don’t think it raises a Second Amendment issue.”
When he was questioned if he is in favor of Biden’s plans to ban so-called “assault weapons”, Garland responded, “Where there is room under the law for the president’s policies to be pursued, then I think the president is entitled to pursue them.”
Biden’s track record as a gun control proponent is well-documented. From his support of gun-free zones at schools to the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, Biden is Gun Control Inc.’s guy. With Democrats in control of the House and the Senate, there will most certainly be attempts to ram gun control down our throats. If they can’t beat us legislatively, they will most certainly use the courts to undermine the Second Amendment. Pro-gun organizations should be ready to lawyer up and use whatever means possible to keep courts from destroying our rights.
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