Warren proposes ban on lawmakers owning individual stocks

Warren proposes ban on lawmakers owning individual stocks
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Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren set to announce plan for universal child care: reports Barack, Michelle Obama expected to refrain from endorsing in 2020 Dem primary: report Booker seeks dialogue about race as he kicks off 2020 campaign MORE (D-Mass.) on Tuesday outlined a new proposal to ban members of Congress from owning individual stocks, which comes as a GOP lawmaker has been indicted on insider trading charges.

Warren explained in a speech to the National Press Club that the bill would bar members of Congress, Cabinet-level officials, federal judges and other senior government officials from possessing and trading individual stocks.

“They can put their savings in conflict-free investments like mutual funds or they can pick a different line of work,” said Warren, considered a potential 2020 White House contender.

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Warren's bill comes weeks after Rep. Chris CollinsChristopher (Chris) Carl CollinsHouse Dems release 2020 GOP 'retirements to watch' for Fighting AIDS domestically and globally means pushing more evidence-based services House Dems unveil initial GOP targets in 2020 MORE (R-N.Y.) was charged with insider trading

Following Collins's arrest, legislators on both sides of the aisle have called for changes to congressional ethics regulations and rules regarding stocks. 

One day after his charges were announced, a bipartisan bill was introduced to block congressmen from being on the boards of publicly traded companies.

Warren’s bill additionally seeks to limit lobbyists’ influence in Washington. It would ban foreign lobbying entirely and stop all lobbyists from donating to candidates and members of Congress. And members of Congress, former presidents and agency heads would be banned from lobbying for life.

The legislation also would establish a new Office of Public Advocate “to advocate for public interest in the rulemaking process” in federal agencies. It would require the disclosure of all “editorial conflicts of interest” and funding for rulemaking comments and studies in federal agencies.

This would give “agencies the tools to implement strong rules that protect the public,” according to a statement announcing Warren's legislation.

Warren’s bill would additionally construct an “independent anti-corruption agency dedicated to enforcing federal ethics laws.”

Warren’s legislation doesn't stand much of a chance in a Republican-controlled Senate.

This is the second sweeping stock-related bill Warren has unveiled in recent weeks. Last week, she introduced the Accountable Capitalism Act. Among other things, the bill would force corporations with $1 billion in annual revenue — as distinct from profit — to seek a federal corporate charter, which would come with its own strings attached.