Tracking down taxpayer dollars

Dear friend,

Throughout my time in Congress, I’ve made it a priority to increase accountability and transparency in our government. That’s why, last month, I introduced legislation with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand to crack down on politicians seeking to enrich themselves off American taxpayers.

The American people rely on transparency and disclosure to hold powerful people accountable, and that’s exactly what our bill—the STOCK Act 2.0—does. This legislation would require elected officials and high-level staff to disclose when they apply for or receive a loan from the government in the same way they would report a stock transaction. Congress has allocated trillions in relief during the COVID-19 crisis, and the American people deserve to know where their tax dollars are going.

When small businesses were suffering and couldn’t get PPP loans, businesses owned by some of the wealthiest members of Congress found a way to the front of the line. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and I introduced the Stock Act 2.0 to crack down on officials who are lining their pockets with taxpayer money.

The first iteration of the STOCK Act, which Senator Gillibrand wrote, bars Members of Congress, the president, vice president, and high-level staff from engaging in insider trading while also requiring these government officials to disclose financial transactions to the public. The STOCK Act 2.0 would increase and expand on those transparency rules so that individual Members of Congress aren’t able to abuse their positions of privilege to line their pockets with taxpayer dollars. It would require officials and staff covered under the STOCK Act to report any time they, a spouse, or a dependent applies for or receives a loan from the federal government.

I have fought tooth and nail for staunch oversight of taxpayer dollars, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. In May, I introduced legislation to increase transparency and accountability of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was created to help small businesses keep workers on payroll during the pandemic. I also wrote a letter with Senator Kamala Harris demanding that the Trump Administration release the data about who is receiving forgivable loans from the PPP and in what amounts. Full transparency of PPP data is essential to confirming that this money is actually helping workers, not large corporations.

As your Member of Congress, I will always work to fight for Orange County families. To stay up to date on how I’m representing you and California’s 45th district, please follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at @RepKatiePorter.

 Very truly yours,
Katie Porter
Member of Congress