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Bipartisan Bill To Ban Lawmakers From Trading Stocks

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A bipartisan group introduced Wednesday measures that ban lawmakers from trading stocks and other investments. In particular, the ban covers the buying and selling of stocks, most bonds, and options contracts. Additionally, the bill applies to members of Congress and senior-level staffers.

RELATED: Market Insiders Are Cashing In

Bipartisan Sponsors

Democrat Senators Jeff Merkley (OR) is the lead Senate sponsor. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Raphael Warnock (D-GA) co-sponsored the Senate version. Meanwhile, the House counterpart comprises both Republicans and Democrats authors. For the House, they include Democrat representatives Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), and Joe Neguse (CO). Additionally, House Republicans who sponsored the bill are Representatives Matt Gaetz (FL) and Michael Cloud (TX). Also, 10 Democratic lawmakers also co-authored the House version.

The Ban Conflicted Trading Act prohibits Congress members and employees from three actions. First, it prohibits the buying and selling of specific investments. Second, it forbids lawmakers from entering transactions that create a short position. Finally, it prevents them from serving on boards of for-profit companies. Previous laws were already placed for lawmakers, such as the STOCK Act. This bans lawmakers from making investment decisions based on nonpublic information. In addition, insider trading is also illegal under several federal securities laws.

Tightening The Rules

The new measure holds lawmakers to tighter standards. It also prevents top congressional members from making money off their jobs. However, some of these moves do not fall under the definition of insider trading. Consequently, the new bill hopes to close the loopholes. “We need to end the era in which members of Congress buy and see individual stocks for personal gain. This practice is deeply corrupt,” remarked Senator Merkley, the lead Senate co-sponsor.

Republican congressman Michael Cloud, another co-sponsor, wants more accountability.  “Congress must be held accountable to the American people,” he said. As elected officials, they have a constitutional obligation to honor the public trust. As such, members of Congress cannot abuse their roles in exchange for financial gain. 

Meanwhile, Representative Krishnamoorthi wants existing loopholes closed. Admittedly, there is “unavoidable potential conflict of interest,” he said in a statement. Members of Congress and staffers face the dilemma of trading stocks. At the same time, they need to make decisions that can affect the value of these stocks. “Our legislation will eliminate even the possibility of these conflicts of interest and ensure public servants put their constituents first by banning members and their senior aides from trading individual stocks,” he added.

Completely Ban Lawmakers From Trading Stocks

The new measure will force Congress members and staffers to file disclosures. Within six months of the bill’s passage, they will need to sell their investment portfolio. This includes stocks, non-Treasury bonds, options contracts, and derivatives they own. Those holding investments can transfer holdings into a blind trust. This way, they can continue looking after their retirement accounts without violating laws. Meanwhile, incoming new lawmakers will need to do the same after taking office. The bill gives them six months to unload their existing individual holdings.

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The bill’s authors argue that members of Congress get access to advance information. They get these in advance as part of legislation work. Often, the information gathered can impact stock prices. In fact, several senators got flak for selling stock ahead of the pandemic. The Department of Justice investigated the Senators to check for possible violations. However, the department eventually decided against pursuing any cases. 

Ban Conflicted Trading Act

This is the second time House representatives filed the Ban Conflicted Trading Act. The earlier 2019 measure resulted from former Representative Chris Collins’ (R-NY) actions. Collins received a conviction on charges of securities fraud related to insider trading. As a result, he started a two-year prison sentence in October. However, former President Donald Trump pardoned him within two months.

Watch the CNBC video special Insider Trading And Congress: How Lawmakers Get Rich From The Stock Market:

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Should lawmakers choose between holding office and engaging in trades? Also, do you agree with banning members of Congress from making trades while in office? Let us know what you think. Share your comments below.

17 Comments

17 Comments

  • Ray Wadinski says:

    biden and harris should be impeached for crimes against humanity. biden seems to think wearing a mask will make the china covid disappear. His executive orders in regards to allowing illegal immigrants into the USA are criminal. Illegals that test positive for china covid are released into the USA and are allowed to go anywhere. How many deaths will be on the hands of biden? Every person that dies from bidens policies will be his responsibility.

  • Scheri Cox says:

    The bill sounds great. But no one in Congress ever gets convicted for breaking trade laws and violating the trust of their offices. So why bother? They would just go around the laws by having family members like spouses continue the unethical practices.

  • Jerry Godfrey says:

    Biden and Harris should @ that thing they call Pelosi should be thrown out of office put in prison for life in Leavenworth for mid use of power wasting tax dollars and using there positions for personal financial gain

  • Jerry Godfrey says:

    Biden and Harris should and that thing they call Pelosi should be thrown out of office put in prison for life in Leavenworth for mis use of power wasting tax dollars and using there positions for personal financial gain

  • Gay says:

    I agree that Biden/ Harris should be impeached and the swamp drained of every traitor involved in this evil charade. I am traumatized and appalled as a citizen and human being to witness the relentless atrocities being committed. Bringing President Trump back into office is my best advice. He has proven himself as a leader and a decent,hardworking man that loves his country and it’s citizens. At this point, the monstrous democrats and spineless republicans are both responsible for our devastating circumstances. The Supreme Court should easily recognize that treason has been done,leaving our country and our lives destroyed. I don’t understand how “the people” are accountable for breaking the law,but not the one’s in office. Bad example to follow. When I grew up, if I showed disrespect toward authority/rules/ laws, I was punished. Seems to me the tail is wagging the dog. Open Gitmo and put them where they can’t continue to destroy everything and everybody. Just call a temporary agency and put some of these people back to work. They would likely have more integrity than those there ,now. I support your efforts to save our country. God bless us all. P.S. Should any suspicious harm come to me, somebody called the Hitman. Ck. with the Clinton’s’.

  • Bill says:

    Pedoski’s spouse took out a boatload of stock options in Tesla just a few days before she had puppetdent bidem sign a EO to make the entire government fleet of vehicles all electric. NOTHING IS DONE! NOT A PEEP FROM THE MSM! IT’S ALREADY ILLEGAL!
    If it was President Trump, we’d be watching another Kongressional Kangaroo Kourt.
    ARREST NANZI PEDOSKI AND SPOUSE!
    They need to be made example of abuse of power.

  • Bob Ro says:

    Biden is as an Ahole and Kamala toe is not a first born American and according to the Declaration of Independence is not able to take the office of the president If ever needed…

  • Roger says:

    Y bill just passed a bill saying that they can anyhow so what’s to use they passed whatever bills they want regardless of what the people want you’ve already let the fox in The Henhouse now you can’t get it out

  • Sharon Freeman says:

    Nah. They will blame it on the states governors that didn’t follow the mask mandates or the lockdowns. Watch and see. Dems are never responsible for stupidity. They are never to blame for laws that take away the Constitutional rights of the people. “It’s all for the good of the people.” Did you see where Biden called Texans Neanderthals for opening their state up? Not only is Biden a liar, he has more hatred for anyone and everyone who is not a DemonRat. He is showing his true colors. I wonder how many Democrats are sorry they voted for him now.

  • Donnie Bawkum says:

    why bother ,most of them are crocked as the stock traders or worse

  • Jane German says:

    But how about their spouses? Too easy for them to find loopholes.

  • Pete Bishop says:

    You have to make this apply to all family members of an elected official.

    The penalty would have to be so draconian and enforced that they wouldn’t risk it.

  • RT Castleberry says:

    Ray is wildly off topic not to mention unbalanced. Trump has 500,000 deaths on his hands and Wadinski thinks Biden is to blame for the death. Bizarre and crazed idea.

  • RT says:

    Scheri, corrupt politicians are never punished for their crimes because of cynical attitudes like yours. Get on or off the bus!

  • RT Castleberry says:

    Perhaps you should study some basic grammar and punctuation before giving your legal opinion. As it is, your babbling incoherently.

  • RT says:

    Okay, so Gay is certifiably insane. Trump is the only president in American history who led an insurrection against his OWN country and yet she wants him back in office. Time to check yourself into a clinic for psychiatric evaluation.

  • RT Castleberry says:

    So Bob Ro is easily the silliest twit on this site. Dooood! The Declaration of Independence had NOTHING to say about governance. That was the Constitution, you moron.

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