Jan 24, 2022 - Economy & Business

Lawmakers call on Pelosi and McCarthy to bring stock trading ban to the floor

Congress

The U.S. Capitol. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Twenty-seven House of Representatives members have signed a letter urging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to bring forward legislation that would ban members of Congress from owning or trading stocks.

Why it matters: There has been momentum among lawmakers to prohibit stock trading, as pressure has grown to address one of Washington’s most glaring and persistent financial conflicts, write Axios' Dan Primack and Sophia Cai.

Details: The letter, dated Monday, was signed by 25 Democrats and two Republicans, including Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.).

The letter cites a report by Insider indicating Congress' current mechanism for prohibiting lawmakers from using their knowledge for stock trades "has been violated hundreds of times just since 2020"

  • "It’s clear the current rules are not working," the letter states.

What they're saying: "We understand that multiple bipartisan bills to ban members of Congress from owning or trading individual stocks have been introduced in the House," the letter states.

  • "However, handwringing over which bill to advance should be no excuse for stalling a House floor vote on this issue. Instead, we view the emergence of multiple bipartisan bills on this issue as a sign of broad rank-and-file support for it across Congress."
  • "[T]his glaring problem will not go away until it is fixed and Congress should not delay when we have the power to fix it."
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