OAN Geraldyn Berry
UPDATED 4:00 PM – Tuesday, May 2, 2023
In an effort to rebuild public confidence by barring legislators from making money off insider knowledge, a bipartisan group of House members have presented a plan that would forbid Congress members from owning and trading individual stocks.
The bill is supported by GOP Representatives Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), and Democrat Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.).
Members of Congress, their spouses, and any dependents would not be allowed to make financial investments under the Bipartisan Restoring Faith in Government Act. The bill, however, does not prohibit members and their families from investing in widely-held investment funds or Treasury bonds, and it allows for contributions to the government’s retirement plan.
It is the latest in a line of bills that have been proposed in recent years to address the problem.
“The fact that members of the Progressive Caucus, the Freedom Caucus, and the Bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, reflecting the entirety of the political spectrum, can find common ground on key issues like this should send a powerful message to America,” Fitzpatrick said. “We must move forward on issues that unite us, including our firm belief that trust in government must be restored, and that members of Congress, including their dependents, must be prohibited from trading in stocks while they are serving in Congress and have access to sensitive, inside information. This is basic common sense and basic Integrity 101.”
“The ability to individually trade stock erodes the public’s trust in government,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “When Members have access to classified information, we should not be trading in the stock market on it. It’s really that simple.”
“Members of Congress are spending their time trading futures instead of securing the future of our fellow Americans,” Gaetz said. “We cannot allow the Swamp to prioritize investing in stocks over investing in our country.”
Members would have 90 days to sell their stock holdings under the proposed legislation, and any blind trust would require permission prior from House ethics officers.
Due to the significant holdings of many members of Congress, both Republican and Democrat, the legislation is likely to encounter opposition. Members are permitted to purchase and sell stocks under the STOCK Act of 2012, as long as they report their transactions and avoid using insider knowledge.
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