Representative Peter Meijer of Michigan.
Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
- The CDC is warning travelers to avoid cruise ships, even if they’re fully vaccinated, due to Omicron.
- 8 members of Congress own at least $1,000 in stock in 3 different major cruise line companies.
- Insider’s exclusive database reveals the assets, stock transactions and debts of each member of Congress.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning even fully vaccinated travelers to stay away from cruise ships amid the surge of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
The agency’s decision, which cites the “close quarters” of the ships and a recent spate of outbreaks, led to a drop in stock prices for major cruise lines. The Cruise Lines International Association told Insider in a statement that it is “disappointed and disagrees” with the elevated travel warning, calling the agency’s decision “particularly perplexing.”
Another group of people who may find themselves disappointed are members of Congress, both Democratic and Republican, that have investments in either Royal Caribbean Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, or Carnival.
On the heels of Insider’s recently-published “Conflicted Congress” investigation — which found dozens of members in violation of the STOCK Act and revealed several possible conflicts of interest — Insider produced an exclusive database of every lawmaker’s personal finances.
The searchable, sortable databases for both the House and the Senate reveal the each member’s individual assets, stock transactions, debts, and other outside income.
These are the 8 members of Congress who disclosed the largest investments in cruise line stocks in 2020.
Republican Rep. Peter Meijer of Michigan
Meijer — notable for being the scion of a grocery store empire, the only House freshman to ever vote to impeach a president from his own party, and one of 2 lawmakers who flew to Afghanistan amid the US withdrawal in August — reported owning between $15,001 – $50,000 of shares in Carnival.
Democratic Rep. Susie Lee of Nevada
Lee — whose district includes the outer suburbs of the entertainment capital of Las Vegas — would appear to be the most invested member of Congress in the cruise industry. In 2020, she and her husband jointly held up to $15,000 in stock in Royal Caribbean through a living trust, while her husband alone owned up to $50,000 in Carnival stock.
However, Lee announced that she was separating from her husband in May of this year, and it’s unclear how ownership of their assets might be divided moving forward.
Democratic Rep. Marie Newman of Illinois
Newman, a progressive who defeated long-sitting conservative Democrat Dan Lipinski in a 2020 primary, does not own any stock in cruise lines herself. However, her husband owns between $2,000 and $30,000 in shares in Carnival. Insider reported earlier this year how Newman and her husband had invested significantly in pandemic-related industries.
Republican Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas
McCaul, the ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, also does not own any cruise ship stocks himself.
However, in 2020 he reported that his wife and a dependent child each had investments, via a family account, in both Royal Caribbean and Carnival. Each disclosed between $5,000 and $15,000 in earnings from the former.
Because family members of lawmakers may have access to sensitive or non-public information, the STOCK Act requires their investments to be disclosed as well.
Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota
Phillips, who was elected to a seat in the Minneapolis suburbs after defeating a Republican in 2018, owns between $1,000 and $15,000 in Royal Caribbean stock.
Republican Rep. Lance Gooden of Texas
Gooden, who’s represented his Dallas-era seat since 2019, owns between $1,000 and $15,000 in Royal Caribbean stock.
Democratic Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan
Peters, who chairs the Senate Democrats’ campaign arm and who narrowly won re-election to his swing-state Senate seat last year, owns between $1,000 and $15,000 in Carnival.
Republican Rep. John Rutherford of Florida
Rutherford, who’s represented his Jacksonville-era seat since 2017, owns between $1,000 and $15,000 in Norwegian Cruise Line.