Members of Congress serving on subcommittees charged with legislating the Internet are invested in major broadband service providers including Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA), AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ), some of them with significant holdings.
The data comes courtesy of MapLight.org, and was distilled by Gizmodo. According to financial disclosures, four members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and one member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, hold personal investments in one, two or all of the aforementioned ISP giants, AT&T, Comcast and Verizon.
Fred Upton, (D-Mich.), chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce is invested in all three companies, according to public disclosures.
While disclosure is mandatory, investing in companies they regulate is not illegal for Congressional lawmakers.
"In sum, there are no restrictions on any kind of investments," Meredith McGhee, policy director at the Campaign Legal Center, told Gizmodo. "Members in the House (and Senate) are not required to divest. To recuse or abstain from voting, they have to have a 'direct personal or pecuniary interest in the event of such question.' That is interpreted to mean when legislation affects a 'class' of people and not a few individuals."
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