A Republican congressman who wants to increase federal military spending has just personally invested money in two defense contractors.
Representative Kevin Hern of Oklahoma and his wife invested up to $15,000 in Raytheon Technologies and up to $15,000 in Lockheed Martin, according to a recently filed federal financial disclosure. Members of Congress are only required to disclose the value of their investments within broad ranges.
Raytheon Technologies is a defense contractor that creates drones, guided missiles, air defense systems and other weapons platforms. Lockheed Martin also produces missiles and aerospace vehicles used in military operations.
Products from Raytheon and Lockheed Martin were also used during the war in Ukraine. In May, Insider identified 20 lawmakers who are invested in the two companies and who were set to take advantage of the $40 billion Ukraine aid package that was later signed into law by President Joe Biden.
Hern is a member of the Republican Study Committee, a caucus of House GOP representatives that “provides the tools and research members of Congress need to shape and advance policy,” according to the committee’s site.
As chair of the committee’s budget and spending task force, Hern and the committee released an alternative budget for fiscal year 2023 that promises to cut spending by $16.6 trillion over 10 years while increasing defense funding by 5% to $845 billion.
Hern and his wife also recently invested up to $15,000 each in Microsoft, Intel, Home Depot, ExxonMobil and several other companies, according to his financial disclosure to Congress.
Hern’s director of communications, Miranda Dabney, told Insider, “Congressman Hern has no day-to-day management or control over his stock purchases or activities, as recommended by the company’s ethics committee. Bedroom.”
Only about a dozen non-Hern congressmen said they used what’s called a qualified blind trust, a formal arrangement, requiring congressional approval, in which a lawmaker formally transfers management of his or her assets. financial statements to an independent trustee.
While congressional guidelines suggest that trusts provide “the most comprehensive approach” to avoiding “potential conflicts of interest or the appearance of such conflicts,” they can be costly and time-consuming to establish.
More dramatically, members of Congress are currently debating whether they and their spouses should be allowed to invest in individual stocks.
He is one of 65 members of Congress that Insider and other media organizations have since last year found in violation of STOCK Act disclosure provisions.
The survey also found that 15 members of Congress who serve on House or Senate Armed Services Committees also invest in defense contractors.
Hern’s office declined to say whether the congressman supported banning members of Congress and their wives from trading individual stocks.