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 KrishnamoorthiHouse bill would ban stock trading by members of Congress House panel demands explanations from travel insurance firms not covering coronavirus cancellations Illinois governor endorses Biden one day before primary 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-CortezOvernight Energy: Court upholds Trump repeal of Obama fracking rule | Oil price drop threatens fracking boom | EPA eases rules on gasoline sales amid coronavirus Ocasio-Cortez blasts coronavirus stimulus package as 'shameful' on House floor Oil price drop threatens US fracking boom MORE (D-N.Y.) “We are here to serve the public, not to profiteer.”

Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyHouse bill would ban stock trading by members of Congress Lawmakers ask Trump administration to help Gulf oil and gas producers Overnight Energy: Trump prepares to buy 30M barrels of oil amid industry slump | Coronavirus offers reprieve from air pollution | Energy regulators split on delaying actions amid outbreak MORE (D-Ore.) introduced corresponding legislation in the Senate last year after securities fraud charges against then-Rep. Chris CollinsChristopher (Chris) Carl CollinsHouse bill would ban stock trading by members of Congress Former Rep. Chris Collins sentenced to 2 years in prison for insider trading GOP leaders encourage retiring lawmakers to give up committee posts MORE (R-N.Y.), who pleaded guilty and resigned last October.

The bill comes after reports surfaced that Sens. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrGOP presses for swift Ratcliffe confirmation to intel post Stimulus bill to prohibit Trump family, lawmakers from benefiting from loan programs Gaetz accuses Burr of 'screwing all Americans' with stock sale MORE (R-N.C.), Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerGeorgia makes it easier to get mail-in ballots after delaying primary House bill would ban stock trading by members of Congress Loeffler under fire for stock trades amid coronavirus outbreak MORE (R-Ga.), Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinLobbying frenzy connected to stimulus sparks backlash House bill would ban stock trading by members of Congress Loeffler under fire for stock trades amid coronavirus outbreak MORE (D-Calif.) and James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeGOP senators urge Saudi Arabia to leave OPEC Overnight Defense: Stimulus bill has .5B for Pentagon | Money would be blocked from border wall | Esper orders 60-day freeze for overseas troop movements Senate panel switches to 'paper hearings' amid coronavirus pandemic 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 CollinsGeorgia makes it easier to get mail-in ballots after delaying primary Overnight Energy: House stimulus aims to stem airline pollution | Environmental measures become sticking point in Senate talks | Progressives propose T 'green stimulus' House bill would ban stock trading by members of Congress 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.