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STOCK Act Tweaks Don’t Delay Filing Requirements, Ethics Panel Says

The House Ethics Committee today warned Members and senior staffers that changes Congress made last week to a law that requires increased disclosure of personal finances don’t affect their obligation to meet upcoming filing requirements.

“The Committee heard from numerous filers who thought that the implementation of the entire STOCK Act had been delayed, and therefore they mistakenly believed they could postpone compliance,” the joint statement from Ethics Chairman Jo Bonner (R-Ala.) and ranking member Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.) said. “This impression is NOT correct. NO current filing obligations have been postponed.”

The legislation requires those affected to report covered transactions within 30 days of becoming aware they occurred but no later than 45 days after completion. Transactions executed on or after July 3, 2012, are covered by the law, meaning the first batch of periodic transaction reports are due at the beginning of August.

The statement also emphasized that last week’s tweak to the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act actually increased the number of transactions that Members and staffers must report since it looped in the assets of spouses and dependents.

“Provided S. 3510 is signed into law before September 30, 2012, beginning September 30, all House filers will be required, for the first time, to include certain transactions in stocks, bonds, and other securities owned by their spouses and dependent children on periodic transaction reports,” the statement said.

The committee amended the guidance it published in June to assist those who will be required to file periodic transaction reports. The committee has said it will revise is instructions for completing the reports once President Barack Obama signs the recent changes to the STOCK Act into law.

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