On April 23rd, APT filed a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics regarding Representative Donna Shalala’s failure to report her financial activity with the House of Representatives. This failure to file is a violation of House rules and federal law. Making this even more problematic, is the fact that Representative Shalala was recently appointed to a coronavirus taskforce to oversee $500 billion in federal aid dollars to industries. Many of her extensive holdings in stocks included companies eligible to benefit from the emergency funds, creating a conflict of interest.
In response to questions regarding her ability to oversee these funds impartially, Representative Shalala publicly admitted that she made a mistake by not reporting “at least six stock sales.” However, the report filed last Monday, indicates an extensive number of financial transactions. According to the 62-page report, she directed over 500 stock sales and significant financial transactions. These reports must be filed 30 days from when Member becomes aware of the transaction, and no later than 45 days from the date of a sale; yet, many of these transactions occurred in 2018 and the first half of 2019, clearly outside of the 45-day window.
Questions from media outlets drove Representative Shalala to admit her financial dealings; however, it was only the release of the report which showed the true extent of the transactions that occurred. This failure violates transparency and the existence of conflicts of interest requirements, subject to criminal and civil consequences. This behavior is especially troubling given her new role in overseeing $500 billion in taxpayer dollars. Representative Shalala must be held accountable.