“I welcome the opportunity to set the record straight. I respect the Congressional ethics process. I have fully abided by the rules governing members of Congress and look forward to the full exoneration this process will provide,’’ he said in statement.
Bachus, whose panel has jurisdiction over legislation that affects credit unions and banks, was responding to a report in The Washington Post that the Office of Congressional Ethics is opening an investigation of some of the lawmaker’s stock trades of last year.
The article said that the office is investigating “whether Bachus violated Securities and Exchange Commission laws that prohibit individuals from trading stocks and options based on material, nonpublic inside information.”
The office doesn’t have subpoena power. It can turn over its findings to the House Ethics Committee.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) hasn’t announced whether he will ask Bachus to take a leave of absence from his chairmanship until the investigation is completed.
The House and Senate have both recently passed a measure that bans lawmakers and staff members from making trades based on nonpublic information.
The versions are slightly different so they will need to have a conference committee to reconcile the differences.
Bachus, who has been the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee since last January, has already announced he will step down from the post at the end of the year. He said he won’t seek a waiver of the House Republicans’ rule limiting someone to a total of six years as chairman or ranking member of a committee.
Bachus is planning to run for re-election this year. While his district is safely Republican, he has three primary challengers. The political action committees of both CUNA and NAFCU have contributed to his re-election campaign.
Although he has said favorable things about credit unions, he isn’t a co-sponsor of legislation to raise the cap on member business loans. He was one of eight lawmakers who voted against HR 1151 in 1998.
He is scheduled to be one of the speakers at CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference next month.