New polling shows that the overwhelming majority of likely voters believe that Congressmen should be prohibited from trading stocks, even though legislation to implement such a ban is stalled in Congress.
About 70 percent of likely voters say that they support efforts to ban members of Congress from trading individual stocks, while 68 percent believe that lawmakers’ spouses should also be banned from the practice, the poll by Data for Progress finds, as first reported by Insider.
About half of the poll’s respondents said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports a stock trading ban, with 50 percent of Republicans and 45 percent of Democrats in agreement. The poll was conducted by Stand Up America, a progressive anticorruption group.
These results are consistent with Data for Progress’s January polling, which showed that 67 percent of respondents supported banning the ban, including a majority Democratic, Republican, and Independent likely voters. Numerous pollsSimilar surveys conducted over the past year found that Americans across all political spectrums agree that Congress should be banned from buying or selling stocks.
“Very little unifies the American public these days, but widespread national outrage at public corruption … comes close,” Brett Edkins, Stand Up America’s managing director for policy and political affairs, told Insider. “It’s an issue of democracy and fairness, and whether our representatives are working for us or for their bank accounts.”
The polling was done amid frustration at the fact that negotiations over stock trading bans have not been concluded despite strong support for the idea earlier in the year. have been stalled indefinitelyNumerous members of Congress continue to break the current, somewhat lax laws that were previously enacted by the STOCK Act. Even though the STOCK Act is intended to increase transparency and prevent insider trading, members of Congress frequently violate reporting laws as the punishment is essentially a slap on their wrists.
In the earlier part of this year, lawmakers Introduced Several bills that would ban members of Congress — and, in some cases, certain members of their families — from being able to trade individual stocks while members are in office.
The proposals ranged in strictness. There were two options: full divestment (as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D.Massachusetts), or Rep. Pramila Japal (D.Washington), which would mean that stocks must be sold; or, members can continue to own stocks as long they are placed in a blind trust (as Senators Jon Ossoff, D-Georgia, and Mark Kelly, D-Arizona) suggested.
But, as of April, congressional Democrats hadn’t been able to meet an agreement over whether or not lawmakers should be allowed to put the stocks in a blind trust. Some anti-corruption organizations have It is strongly advised not the blind trust route, as lawmakers may still be regulating companies that they know are a major part of their stock portfolios, even if they aren’t able to see their portfolios in real time.
Democrats were also torn on whether or not lawmakers’ spouses or families should be included in the ban. Supporting the ban’s inclusion of spouses sometimes point to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-California) husband, who owns millions of dollarsStocks and who beats it at such a rate that other stock traders often mirror his stock trades in their own portfolios — perhaps because he knows more about regulations or market patterns due to his relationship with his wife.
In fact, it’s possible that PelosiHe was a major player in stopping legislation implementing a ban being put to a vote. “I think that they’re trying to run out the clock,” Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Virginia), a cosponsor of one of the stock trading bans introduced in Congress, told InsiderEnde May
The legislation is “100 percent being stonewalled by anyone who has the ability to move it forward,” she said. While Spanberger didn’t name Pelosi directly, the speaker, who exercises control over what bills come to a vote in the House and when, Has voiced oppositionThe ban was lifted before.