Long-awaited legislation prohibiting members of Congress trading individual stocks is now ready for a vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.California), announced in her weekly news briefing on Wednesday.
Pelosi revealed that lawmakers have been discussing legislation for months and had made some revelations on Wednesday morning. “We believe we have a product that we can bring to the floor this month,” she said, which she characterized as “exciting.”
It’s unclear what’s in the bill or how much support it will have from Congress, though the general idea does appear to have unusual bipartisan support. Legislators have introduced several changes in the last year. wide variety This is BillsAll articles on the topic contain some form of ban.
A ban on stock trading could be a step in the right direction Congress corruption preventionAdvocates hope that it will prevent legislators from profiting directly from legislative decisions. Although there are regulations that aim to prevent stock-related conflicts and increase financial transparency for Congress members (e.g., the Securities Act), such laws are not yet in force. often unevenly enforcedThey are too weak to be able to still function. Public trust is being underminedIn lawmakers
They are diverse in scope. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Massachusetts) Last year, suggestedIt is important that lawmakers ban the practice not only of members of Congress, but also of other top federal officials. However, current legislation will likely be focused on members and their families.
The enforcement mechanisms of the bills are also different. The bill was introduced by Senators Jon Ossoff and Mark Kelly (D–Georgia) would require members and their immediate families to put individual stocks into a blind trust while they’re in office, while another bill introduced this year by Warren and Rep. Pramila Jamila Jayapal (D-Washington).Members and their spouses would have to sell all individual stocks.
Violators of the Warren/Jayapal law would face a hefty $50,000 fine for each infraction, while Ossoff and Kelly’s bill would impose a fine equal to one years’ salary, which is $174,000 for members and slightly moreMinority and majority leaders. Other bills, such as the one introduced by Sen. Josh Hawley (R.Missouri), are also available. would requireMembers must return profits from trades to Treasury department. This could be more or less than the penalties under other bills.
Pelosi answered a reporter’s question about the status legislation and addressed the issue. recent explosive New York Times reportAccording to a study, almost a fifth of Congress members had made stock transactions involving companies in an industry that was overseen by committees. This raises serious ethics concerns.
The report found that 97 members of Congress or their families, from both sides of the aisle, made stock trades between 2019 and 2021 that could represent conflicts of interest – in the case of some members, dozens of potential conflicts.
The conservative Democrat was the one with the most potential conflicts. Industries friendlyRep. Josh Gottheimer, New Jersey, with 43 questionable trading transactions. Many of these were in major financial and banking corporations, despite Gottheimer’s position on the House Financial Services Committee.
After Tuesday’s release of the report, Warren reiterated her call for Congress to ban stock-trading.
“It’s long past time to ban members of Congress and their spouses from owning and trading individual stocks. Months ago. I introduced the Senate’s only bipartisan bill to get it done,” she wrote on Twitter. “Congress urgently needs strong reform here — no more delays.”
Although lawmakers have been considering stock bans since the start of this year’s session, they have not seen much movement. Being extremely popularThe public. Lawmakers for the ban have suggested Pelosi could be a part of the reason behind the delay; in spring, Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D–Virginia), said that she thinks Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) are “trying to run out the clock” on the proposal.
Pelosi, whose spouse is an Stock traders are especially activePreviously, Judith had voiced her disapproval of the proposal. However, she has now accepted it. A slight change in direction after facing backlash.