Dozens of Members Push Deadline to Reveal Financial Information

Posted June 16, 2010 at 11:43am

The House and Senate released annual disclosures Wednesday detailing the personal finances of Members — with the exception of dozens of lawmakers who failed to meet a May filing deadline and requested extensions.

In the House, 85 lawmakers, or about 19 percent of the chamber, sought extensions on their annual reports, according to the Clerk of the House, which publishes the documents.

The Senate Office of Public Records, which publishes that chamber’s reports, indicated 17 lawmakers requested extensions for reporting their 2009 financial information.

Members of Congress are required to file the annual reports disclosing assets, including investment accounts or rental properties, and liabilities such as personal loans and other debts. The reports cover the previous calendar year.

Lawmakers are allowed to exempt some information, however, including certain retirement accounts, information on personal homes that produce no income, and antiques, artwork or vehicles not held as investments.

Among the House lawmakers who sought filing extensions from the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, or the House ethics panel, nearly half received June deadlines, while two-dozen Members opted for the maximum 90-day extension to Aug. 16. Another 12 lawmakers filed their reports in time for release Wednesday despite requesting an extension.

Under House rules mandated by the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, Members and senior staff must file financial disclosures by May 15, but the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct “may grant reasonable extensions of time for the filing.”

Among those Senators who have yet to file, a dozen also received August deadlines, including Sens. Bob Bennett (R-Utah), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Jim Webb (D-Va.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).

In addition, Sens. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) received July deadlines. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) received two short-term extensions but is scheduled to file his report next week.

Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), Ted Kaufman (D-Del.) and Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) received extensions, but they have already filed and their reports are publicly available.