Washington, D.C. — Today, the Republican culture of corruption found a new poster boy in Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY-27), who was arrested after being indicted for insider trading. Rep. Collins, who is extremely close to President Donald Trump, previously found himself defending this sort of behavior when it arose during the confirmation hearings of the now-disgraced former U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price. Most importantly, Rep. Collins took his approach of open corruption to the Republican tax legislation as well, admitting publicly that the bill was about quid pro quo for his political donors: “My donors are basically saying, ‘Get it done or don’t ever call me again.’” Shockingly, Rep. Collins was also one of the biggest beneficiaries of the so-called Corker Kickback, a loophole secretly inserted at the last moment, which provided dozens of Republican members of Congress with enormous windfalls—up to $446,500 in his case—even as the bill cost his constituents thousands in higher health care premiums.
“The real insider trading by Rep. Collins was the corrupt Republican tax bill that lavished benefits on Republican members of Congress and their big corporate donors, while jacking up health care premiums on the middle class,” said Navin Nayak, executive director of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. “Collins at least had the decency to admit that the tax bill was a blatant quid pro quo, but he and every other Republican in Congress needs to come clean on their total haul from the tax bill. He joins Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL), who voted to give himself a potential multimillion dollar tax break and bought a yacht the very same day, in the tax bill hall of shame.”
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