The House Ways and Means Committee, led by the GOP, recently refused to comply with a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The committee and a top staffer said that the committee’s members are “absolutely immune” from complying with federal regulators.
The SEC probe is looking into a “suspicious spike” in health insurer trading volumes and prices that occurred before the announcement that government payments to the insurers would increase. Basically, something’s a little fishy. The SEC believes that the increase is due to at least one Green Taureg LLC lobbyist sending information of the increased payments to a securities analyst before the announcement was made public. Furthermore, the SEC thinks that House Ways and Means Committee staff director Brian Sutter is the originating source.
When the SEC attempted to investigate those suspicions, the GOP obstructed federal financial regulation, like they always do, and outright stonewalled the SEC. As if the odd fluctuation of trading volumes and prices weren’t suspicious enough, the GOP members in the House Ways and Means Committee pull this stunt.
The stonewalling and request for a federal judge to motion against the SEC subpoena makes Republicans in the committee look like they’re trying to hide financial wrongdoing. The group is already breaking the STOCK Act, which states that members of Congress must follow the same trading laws as other Americans.
What is the House Ways and Means Committee hiding? Why are they giving so much pushback to a simple documents request? Either the are protecting someone from justice or they are just being the stubborn, bullheaded Republicans that pushback for the sake of pushing back.
Josh is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. Follow him on Twitter @dnJdeli.