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US Politician makes suspicious health stock purchase 

US Politician makes suspicious health stock purchase

In a recent disclosure, United States Representative for Michigan’s 6th congressional district Debbie Dingell has come under scrutiny for her stock purchase in Medtronic (NYSE: MDT), a prominent medical devices company. 

According to data provided by Quiver Quant on December 15, the purchase, made on December 5, 2023, falls within the range of $15,001 to $50,000. In accordance with the law, the filing for the purchase by the lawmaker was made on December 14. 

This disclosure raises concerns, especially given Dingell’s role on the House Subcommittee on Health. The acquisition of Medtronic stock represents only her third trade this year, prompting scrutiny of the timing and potential conflicts of interest.

Notably, Dingell made similar moves earlier in the year. On April 10, 2023, she acquired a stake in investment management firm Blackstone (NYSE: BX) and agricultural chemical and seed company Corteva (NYSE: CTVA), which are valued between $15,001 and $50,000 each.

Representative Debbie Dingell’s 2023 stock purchases. Source: Quiver Quantitative

Potential conflict of interest

Notably, the Stock Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act mandates that members of the U.S. Congress must publicly disclose any financial transactions within 45 days of occurrence.

This purchase intensifies existing worries about conflict of interest among Congressional members, highlighting their reluctance to pass laws imposing stricter limits on themselves.

Previous controversies involving Congress members include questionable stock purchases, exemplified by the 2020 congressional insider trading scandal. Allegations emerged that some members sold stocks before the pandemic’s impact and a subsequent market crash. 

Members of Congress are required to submit disclosures that outline the sources of both earned and passive income, including stock dividends. According to a Finbold report, investing in stocks is a commonly chosen avenue through which American politicians generate income, as there is no law prohibiting them from such investments, similar to the general public.

It’s worth noting that members of Congress have previously shown a preference for specific stock portfolios, with reports indicating a focus on military-related stocks during times of increased global tensions. The Israel-Hamas conflict, for example, revealed strategic investments by U.S. congressional leaders in military-related stocks before the attacks.

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