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3 in 4 American Voters Want Lawmakers Banned From Trading Stocks

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Three out of four American voters said that members of Congress shouldn’t trade stocks while in office. This is according to a new poll conducted by advocacy group Convention of States Action and released Thursday.

The poll, conducted by the Trafalgar Group, involved 1,706 American voters. The group conducted the survey between December 17 to 21.

RELATED: Bipartisan Bill To Ban Lawmakers From Trading Stocks

3 out 4 American Voters Don’t Want Members of Congress To Trade Stocks

CU overhead view HispanicLatina woman looking up and thinking while completing ballots | American voters

The survey, commissioned by conservative group Convention of States Action, doesn’t want lawmakers anywhere near the stock market.

In fact, 76% of American voters who responded to the survey called for a ban for lawmakers to trade stock. The respondents believed that lawmakers and their spouses have an unfair advantage when it comes to insider information.

19% gave no opinion on the subject matter. Only 5% of respondents said yes to lawmakers trading stocks. 

Mark Meckler, CSA President, issued a statement regarding the survey, “In an era of hyper-partisanship, voters in all parties agree that members of Congress should not be enriching themselves using ‘insider information’ while serving the people.

This issue has received a lot of attention, and this data verifies the American people want this practice to end once and for all,” he said. 

Some Politicians In Favor Of Banning Lawmakers From Trading Stocks

Prominent lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are pushing for the ban in support of American voters. These include Democrat Representatives Sherrod Brown (OH), Rafael Warnock (GA), and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY). Republican lawmakers who indicated support for a bill include Matt Gaetz (FL) and Michael Cloud (TX).

These members of Congress supported an earlier bill, the Ban Conflicting Trading Act, introduced last March. The movement to ban lawmakers from trading stocks surfaced again after another expose. 

Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) and others came up in a report accusing them of selling securities just before the coronavirus pandemic shut down the economy.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is currently investigating the issue. 

House Speaker Opposes Moves To Block Congress From Trading Stocks

However, one prominent Democrat doesn’t want to change anything. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-C), whose husband is a prolific stock trader, isn’t buying any of that.

She told reporters last month that members of Congress should remain free to trade in the market like anybody else. “We’re a free-market economy. They should be able to participate in that,” she said.

In addition, Pelosi added that lawmakers must observe federal laws that prohibit the use of any nonpublic information. She also said that they must always disclose their stock trades. 

More Than 50 Lawmakers Failed To Disclose Their Stocks Trades

Despite Pelosi’s reminders, lawmakers seem to ignore the limits imposed by their jobs. Currently, around 52 members of Congress are under investigation for failing to disclose their stock trades.

Even when found guilty, lawmakers will get a slap on the wrist or charge very small fines. 

Meanwhile, other surveys show similar support to ban lawmakers from trading stock. A Campaign Legal Center poll last November showed 67% of American voters want a ban on politicians from owning stock.

For the earlier CAS poll, a breakdown among party affiliations shows agreement. 70% of Democrats, 78% of Republicans, and nearly 80% of independents say members of Congress shouldn’t engage in stock trading. 

Watch the America Uncovered video report: Are Politicians Getting RICHER with Insider Trading?

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