On Wednesday, Senator Josh Hawley introduced legislation to ban insider trading by members of Congress.
The bill, titled “Banning Insider Trading in Congress Act”, will prevent lawmakers, as well as their spouses, from holding, buying, or selling individual stocks.
However, lawmakers would still be free to invest in mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, and Treasury bonds.
“Year after year, politicians somehow manage to outperform the market, buying and selling millions in stocks of companies they’re supposed to be regulating,” Hawley stated. “Wall Street and Big Tech work hand-in-hand with elected officials to enrich each other at the expense of the country.”
— Abigail Marone 🇺🇸 (@abigailmarone) January 13, 2022
Daily Wire reports:
Hawley’s announcement occurs as Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-GA) partners with Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) to offer similar legislation. As Axios reported, “this means there will be now be two similar bills to ban stock trades individually championed by two vastly different lawmakers — further complicating the effort to pass a stock trading ban this session.”
Talks between Ossoff and Hawley’s offices “fizzled out,” according to the outlet. While Ossoff’s bill would ban dependent children from investing, Hawley’s bill would not; Hawley’s bill would charge the Government Accountability Office with providing oversight, which Ossoff’s bill leaves to congressional ethics committees.
A report from The New York Times’ DealBook — based upon research conducted by Capitol Trades — showed that members of Congress and their immediate families exchanged more than $630 million in stocks last year. The report came days after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) deflected questions as to why lawmakers should be allowed to trade individual stocks.
On Monday, Democrat Senator Jeff Merkley admitted that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband’s stock trading activity has swayed her legislative judgment.
“Speaker Pelosi is an amazing leader, but on this issue I disagree with her completely,” Merkley explained. “When members hold individual stocks it can’t help but influence their thinking on policies and tax laws that affect their value.”
Pelosi believes that lawmakers and their spouses should be allowed to continue trading stocks although they are privy to information that regular American workers are not.
“We’re a free-market economy,” she argued. “They [lawmakers] should be able to participate in that.”
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