House bill would ban stock trading by members of Congress

Three congressional Democrats on Monday introduced legislation that would bar lawmakers and staff from trading stocks after revelations that numerous senators sold stock after attending a briefing on the threat of novel coronavirus.

“The recent news reports have made it clear that it’s past time to end the potential conflicts of interest created by Members of Congress and their top staffers trading in stocks while making decisions affecting their values and receiving sensitive, nonpublic information through government service,” Rep. Raja KrishnamoorthiSubramanian (Raja) Raja KrishnamoorthiMilley confirms soldiers deployed to DC amid unrest were given bayonets Democrats seek information on Treasury's administration of 'opportunity zone' program Biden campaign rips 'outrageous' Trump comments on coronavirus testing MORE (D-Ill.), who co-sponsored the bill, said in a statement.

“Our legislation will prevent members from trading individual stocks and holding positions on corporate boards to help ensure that Congress is working for the American people and not their own stock portfolios,” he added.

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“Members of Congress should not be allowed to buy and sell individual stock,” added co-sponsor Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezDemocratic strategist Andrew Feldman says Biden is moving left Hispanic Caucus asks Trump to rescind invitation to Mexican president Nadler wins Democratic primary MORE (D-N.Y.) “We are here to serve the public, not to profiteer.”

Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyDemocratic senator will introduce bill mandating social distancing on flights after flying on packed flight Manchin draws line against repealing legislative filibuster The Hill's 12:30 Report: Supreme Court ruling marks big win for abortion rights groups MORE (D-Ore.) introduced corresponding legislation in the Senate last year after securities fraud charges against then-Rep. Chris CollinsChristopher (Chris) Carl CollinsNY Republican Chris Jacobs wins special election to replace Chris Collins 5 things to watch in Tuesday's primaries Trump drags mild-mannered regulator into political firefight MORE (R-N.Y.), who pleaded guilty and resigned last October.

The bill comes after reports surfaced that Sens. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrBiden campaign adds staff in three battleground states Exclusive investigation on the coronavirus pandemic: Where was Congress? Trump asserts his power over Republicans MORE (R-N.C.), Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerWarnock raises almost M in Georgia Senate race in second quarter Doug Collins leads Kelly Loeffler by 2 points in Georgia Senate race The Hill's Campaign Report: Candidates, lawmakers mark Juneteenth MORE (R-Ga.), Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinBottom line Filibuster reform gains steam with Democrats Senate panel votes 21-1 to back Justice IG measure over Graham objections MORE (D-Calif.) and James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeRepublicans fear backlash over Trump's threatened veto on Confederate names Senate rejects Paul proposal on withdrawing troops from Afghanistan Liberal veterans group urges Biden to name Duckworth VP MORE (R-Okla.) all sold off stock following a January briefing on the threat of the virus but before the market began its downward plunge. Feinstein and Inhofe have both said they were not present for the briefing, while Burr said that his decision was based on public news reports and asked for a Senate Ethics Committee investigation.

Loeffler, meanwhile, has faced scrutiny after she and her husband, the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, sold between $1.275 million and $3.1 million in stock between Jan. 24 and Feb. 14.

Loeffler has claimed she made the decision on the advice of financial advisers but Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsWarnock raises almost M in Georgia Senate race in second quarter Comer tapped to serve as top Republican on House Oversight Doug Collins leads Kelly Loeffler by 2 points in Georgia Senate race MORE (R-Ga.), a close Trump ally challenging her for her Senate seat, accused her of “profiting off [the] pain” of those who have lost their jobs or retirement to the pandemic.