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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 KrishnamoorthiHHS scraps celebrity COVID-19 ad campaign aimed at 'defeating despair' Documents show 'political' nature of Trump COVID ad campaign, lawmakers say Trust and transparency are necessary to make COVID-19 vaccine successful 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-CortezOcasio-Cortez, Cruz trade jabs over COVID-19 relief: People 'going hungry as you tweet from' vacation Biden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far New Consensus co-founder discusses proposal for Biden to use Fed to sidestep Congress MORE (D-N.Y.) “We are here to serve the public, not to profiteer.”

Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleySupreme Court declines to hear case challenging unlimited super PAC fundraising Trump supporters demonstrate across the country following Biden-Harris win Merkley wins reelection in Oregon Senate race MORE (D-Ore.) introduced corresponding legislation in the Senate last year after securities fraud charges against then-Rep. Chris CollinsChristopher (Chris) Carl CollinsA Biden strategy for genuine global health security Former GOP lawmaker and Trump ally Chris Collins begins prison sentence Federal prosecutor opposes delaying prison time for former Rep. Chris Collins MORE (R-N.Y.), who pleaded guilty and resigned last October.

The bill comes after reports surfaced that Sens. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrNorth Carolina's Mark Walker expected to announce Senate bid Lara Trump mulling 2022 Senate run in North Carolina: report Cyber agency urges employees not to lose focus in wake of director's firing MORE (R-N.C.), Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerHouse Democrat accuses Air Force of attempting to influence Georgia runoff races Ossoff, Warnock to knock on doors in runoff campaigns Record number of ballots requested in Georgia runoff election MORE (R-Ga.), Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinWhitehouse says Democratic caucus will decide future of Judiciary Committee The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump OKs transition; Biden taps Treasury, State experience Durbin seeks to become top-ranking Democrat on Judiciary panel MORE (D-Calif.) and James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeHouse Democrats back slower timeline for changing Confederate base names Barrasso to seek top spot on Energy and Natural Resources Committee Overnight Defense: Trump orders troop drawdown in Afghanistan and Iraq | Key Republicans call Trump plan a 'mistake' 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 CollinsMajority say they want GOP in control of Senate: poll The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump, Biden clash over transition holdup, pandemic plans Georgia secretary of state says wife has received threatening texts about recount 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.